Two hundred and ninety Ghanaian entrepreneurs have graduated from the third edition of a mentoring programme organised by Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL) at a ceremony in Kumasi.
For the first time, nine (9) out of the number were men while the remaining two hundred and seventy-one (271) representing 95 per cent were women. The inclusion of men was to make them to be trained to become change agents in their various communities.
This brings to 655, the number of Ghanaian entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the programme which saw 150 and 225 graduating during the maiden and the second edition, respectively.
The mentees, drawn from across the country, underwent a six-month training with 75 mentors who mentored them through various trades and crafts to acquire first-hand information and experience to enhance their business development.
The mentorship involved bringing experienced mentors from various established Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) business modules to coach, mentor and share best practices with their mentees at their various work places across the country.
Dubbed :“ Mentoring the Next Generation of Great Women, ” the mentoring programme supports and improves people, especially women in the SME sector to acquire the right skills to become economically viable to contribute positively towards the nations’ economy.
Some of the skills they acquired during the training were proper record keeping, planning in business, innovation and creativity in business, how to guide against fraud and stock control.
SASL is a leading non-banking financial institution in the country, which for the past 28 years has been promoting the development of businesses in the country with particular emphasis on supporting women in the SME sector.
It currently has 44 branches across the country.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony in Kumasi at the weekend, the Chief Executive Officer, Sinapi Aba Saving and Loans (SASL) , Mr Tony Fosu Gyasi, said the company, like many others, was not just interested in doing business but was also keen in the development of Ghanaian women who forms over 60 per cent of Ghana’s informal sector.
“We will continue to provide the needed support towards the development of many more women to complement government’s effort at reducing unemployment in the country”, he said.
The CEO urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the skills acquired judiciously and contribute towards the development of the country.
He encouraged the SME business pace to find Sinapi Aba as the their solution centre, and a one stop financial provider to help them sustain their businesses, considering its numerous sustainable financial packages and the capacity building initiatives.
Mr Ofosu thanked the Canadian Government through its agencies; Global Affairs Canada and Opportunity International Canada, for their support towards the mentorship programmes, and that the programme had come to stay.
The Chief Programme Officer, SASL, Mrs Joyce Owusu-Dabo, said the programme stood the chance of reducing poverty among women, especially those in the rural areas who cover about 65 per cent of SASL’s target for the project.
She said the company had not only supported entrepreneurs financially, but had also continuously equipped them with the technical knowledge to sustain their businesses.
She seized the opportunity and charged the beneficiaries to be disciplined at all times, since discipline was what it took to improve upon their business.
“Don’t dress anyhow. First impression is always very important in promoting your business, “she told the graduands.
At the event, the beneficiaries were given the opportunity to share their successes made during the programme, and how it has impacted positively in making them to continue to stay relevant in their trade areas.
Source: Ayisah Foster/Broadcastergh.com