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10.10.2008 Business & Finance

Women Entrepreneurs Get Mutual FundImproper Technologies Affect Ghana's Forests - Minister

Mrs Lucia Quarchey, President of Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE) yesterday, disclosed that a GH¢100,000 mutual fund has been established to serve as a source of credit for women entrepreneurs.
She said GAWE identified the major challenge facing women entrepreneurs as lack of access to credit and decided to start a mutual fund with contributions of GH¢ 10 a month by members who wanted to have access to credit to expand their businesses.
Mrs Quarchey announced this at a GAWE stakeholders conference dubbed, 'Women Access to Credits; The Way Forward,' a programme which formally ends the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund support project.
GAWE undertook an advocacy four-year project to help reduce problems faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing credit from financial institutions.As part of the project GAWE also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Fidelity Bank to assist their members in accessing funds from the bank.
Mrs Quarchey also called on other banks to also come on board the programme to assist women entrepreneurs , noting that women also need access to big loans and not just micro credit and explained that under the MOU, Fidelity Bank will give three times the amount that an entrepreneur contributes as loan to enable women entrepreneurs expand their businesses.
Mr Dale Rachmeler, BUSAC Fund Manager also announced that BUSAC Fund will begin a second project in 2010 for a period of five years to give opportunity to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises  (SMEs) who cannot benefit from the first project.
He noted that credit facilities are necessary and needed to facilitate all businesses no matter the level and commended GAWE for the implementation of a successful advocacy programme urging them to apply again during the second phase to continue the good work.
Mr Ekow Afadzie, General Manager of the Ghana Stock Exchange also advised SMEs to try and team up with other people in the sector to turn their small businesses into big ones and urged them to also formalize their businesses by planning for successions and employing qualified people and not family members. 'Do not make your money lie in the bank or at home idle, invest in something,' he emphasised.
 Mrs Marian Tackie, Director, International Desk for Women at the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs on her part urged women entrepreneurs to organise periodic business skills and management training programmes to help them share ideas and create a platform for growing their businesses into big ones.