IFC provides $200 million to 6 financial institutions to support women’s businesses

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided more than $200 million to some six financial institutions in the country for on-lending to women’s businesses.

The goal is to reduce the lack of access to capital for women-led businesses.

Speaking at this year’s International Women’s Day Forum organized by the Ghana Stock Exchange Forum, Cemile Hacibeyoglu, Senior Country Officer at IFC, said the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, s is committed to increasing funding for women-led businesses.

Women make up nearly 50% of small and medium-sized businesses in the country.

The Ghana Stock Exchange used the forum to highlight some opportunities for women to overcome challenges in their business operations.

Speaking at a forum on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Cemile Hacibeyoglu, Senior Country Manager at IFC Ghana, said IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is committed to increasing funding for women-led businesses.

“Here in Ghana, we have a strong partnership with the Ghana Stock Exchange, as the drive for gender equality remains important to IFC.”

“IFC is stepping up its work with stock exchanges to improve diversity in listed companies and also sign and adopt the principle of women’s empowerment in our operations,” she added.

“We have helped insurance companies develop personalized insurance products for women to help them become more resilient. We are also making additional efforts to improve women’s access to finance. IFC has provided over $200 million to six commercial banks to lend to SMEs with special attention to women’s enterprises, and we will certainly do more,” she added.

The Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, Ekow Afedzi, used the occasion to call on women’s businesses to use the Accra Stock Exchange to raise capital to expand their operations.

“I have one piece of advice for women and that is to invest in bonds and stocks [stocks]teach your partners about investing and do it together so you can raise capital for your business or home.

“Women entrepreneurs should take advantage of the stock market to raise capital for expansion projects,” he urged.

The forum known as “Ringing the Bell for Gender Equality” aims to celebrate the contribution of women in the economy to mark International Women’s Day which is celebrated every March 8.

Marianne R. Winn