IFC starts process to introduce Banking on Women programme in Ghana

Jessica Schnabel – IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group says it has started the process to introduce its financing programme aimed at women entrepreneurs – Banking on Women in Ghana. Through the programme the IFC works with commercial banks to provide financing to women entrepreneurs.

According to the IFC women are making an impact on sustainable economic growth, because even though they make up 50 per cent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa, women produce more than 80 per cent of the food for Africa, however, it adds, “less than 12 per cent of agribusiness investments are directed at women smallholder farmers.”

Citing the Harvard Business Review it says women control about $20 trillion global consumer spending and earn about $18 trillion, effectively extending their circle of economic influence.

The IFC indicates that in spite of that, unfavourable business and regulatory environments are among the barriers that continue to impede women entrepreneurs from accessing finance. An IFC-McKinsey study found that the environments inhibiting women from accessing finance have “resulted in a credit gap of approximately $320 billion.”

The IFC believes that Banking on Women, the custom product it will soon introduce in Ghana will encourage banks in the country to explore the untapped opportunities within the female customer segment in the Ghanaian market.

Jessica Schnabel, Global Product Head, Banking on Women, Financial Institutions Group of the IFC said the programme was started in 2010. She added that the IFC through the programme works with financial institutions so they can work with women.

The organization has been working with 62 banks worldwide, she said.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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