Women may generally do as much work as men but they often earn less for same work done. When it comes to the informal sector, a lot more businesses are owned by women who struggle to access capital to boost their businesses.
To start with, research has revealed that nearly 70 percent of women entreprenuers do not of bank accounts. Indeed, 85 percent of private jobs are SMEs which contribute 70percent of Ghana’s GDP, half of which are owned by women.
This means that the majority of women entreprenuers are missing out of the potential to seek financing to unlock their businesses’ potential. This problem is not helped by the fact there are not many financial products out there tailored to the needs of women.
This paper is pleased to hear the Bank of Ghana is leading the effort to promote gender inclusive financial services with an exercise to solicit demographic data from banks set for January next year to assist the bank’s decision-making efforts.
But even before the central bank completes its initiative, Absa has launched a product that should bring good news to women business owners.
The Absa Emerge has seen the need to bridge the gender gap in access to finance for women with bespoke offerings that address both the financial and non-financial needs of women entrepreneurs to drive their growth and productivity.
The Absa Emerge is designed to address the needs of women entrepreneurs with mentoring and business nurturing opportunities.
The Second Deputy Governor of the central bank Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi speaking at the launch of the product said with the severity of harm done by the coronavirus pandemic to informal businesses, Absa Emerge comes handy as it would go a long way to alleviate the pain that women have felt amid the pandemic.
This paper believes that Absa’s product is a step in the right direction but considering how many women entrepreneurs are out there, their efforts would need to be complemented by other financial institutions.
Even as we wait for the other financial institutions to except the challenge, Business24 would like to say Ayekoo to Absa.