OPPORTUNITY International Canada has congratulated its Ghana partner Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans for bagging the 2020 Gold Winner for the Best Bank for Women Entrepreneurs, awarded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Finance Forum, and Best Company in Promoting Gender Equality, awarded by the Sustainability and Social Investment (SSI) Awards 2020 in Ghana.
Opportunity International Canada (OIC), Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) are partners in the Financial Inclusion for Enterprise Development project in Ghana, which prioritises providing access to formal financing, financial literacy, business training, and gender-equity strategies, with a focus on SMEs, women, and vulnerable groups throughout Ghana.
‘The funding and partnership provided by GAC, in collaboration with OIC, has fuelled SASL’s development, launch, and success in serving SME clients, especially women. In the midst of Covid-19, these awards are a testament to SASL’s continued determination to serve its clients,’ the OIC said in a statement.
A long-time opportunity partner in Ghana established in 1994, SASL offers a wide range of financial and non-financial services to more than 400,000 clients, of whom more than 80 percent are women. SASL believes every person should have the dignity of providing for themselves, and that vision guides them in building their clients’ financial strength and livelihoods through business training, networking, and mentorship programmes.
SASL helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses by graduating from microfinance products to larger loans and more advanced services such as digital finance, providing them with the means to continue operating their businesses during Covid-19. When SASL customizes and markets financial services to women, they also reach men who face similar barriers, including low literacy and lack of collateral. Their effective gender strategy achieves both social and business objectives.
The Best Bank for Women Entrepreneurs Award was presented to SASL on October 27 at the SME Finance Forum. Organised by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the Global SME Finance Awards are endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion and celebrates the outstanding achievements of financial institutions and financial technology organizations in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.
The Best Company in Promoting Gender Equality Award was presented to SASL on November 13 at the Sustainability and Social Investment Awards 2020. This is an annual event in Ghana and recognises agencies who deliver high impact projects that align with the Ghanaian Government’s focus on Sustainable Development Goals.
Sara Nicholls, Acting High Commissioner for Canada in Ghana saying,‘Canada is proud to support SASL’s award-winning work through our partnership with Opportunity International in Ghana. SASL’s efforts to support women’s SMEs are helping to build more inclusive economic growth in Ghana, which is critical for the nation’s recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. AYEKOO! (Congratulations!) to Joyce Owusu-Dabo and the SASL team! Keep up the great work.’
Dan Murray, President and CEO, Opportunity International Canada added: ‘These awards are a great recognition of the tireless efforts of the SASL team to unlock the determination, energy, and entrepreneurial spirit of women and men living in poverty in Ghana by empowering and equipping them to reach their full potential.’
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