October, 2017 Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has made a $19.9 million commitment to Opportunity International Canada (OIC) to promote Financial Inclusion for Enterprise Development (FINEDEV) in Ghana. The Project aims to increase access to formal financing, financial literacy, business training, and gender-equity strategies, with a focus on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), women, and vulnerable groups throughout Ghana.
In collaboration with OIC’s implementing partners in Ghana, the FINEDEV Program will serve the unbanked and underbanked people of Ghana with the goal of serving 18,000 SME clients, creating or sustaining 50,000 jobs, and impacting 200,000 indirect beneficiaries. The complete announcement is available in the Press Release.
The Opportunity International Network is made up of two groups – Support Partners, like Opportunity Canada (OIC), who mobilize funds for the developing world, and Implementing Partners, who are nationally-based and roll out holistic microfinance. In Ghana, OIC has two implementing partners – Sinapi Aba Trust/Savings & Loans (SAT/SASL) and Opportunity International Savings & Loans (OISL). Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL) will be our lead Implementing Partner for the FINEDEV Program.
Sinapi Aba takes its name from the Biblical story of the mustard seed, and beginning in 1994, was set up to bring financial inclusion, transformational services, empowering growth, and hope to many Ghanaians. Sinapi Aba has grown into a strong ‘mustard tree’, and now serves over 350,000 clients through 44 branches throughout all of Ghana. Sinapi Aba offers its clients a whole suite of traditional financial products and financial literacy training as well as innovative financial programming for Agriculture, Education, Youth, and Water & Sanitation. Sinapi Aba is client-centric and their tagline is “Transforming Lives Through Microfinance”
While traditionally Opportunity International and Sinapi Aba have focused on microfinance clients, we also want to be able to grow with our clients and support those whose businesses are growing to the level where they can generate jobs and hire others. This is key as not all of us are entrepreneurs, but we all still need a job. Thus supporting the SME level of a society generates jobs, builds communities, and stabilizes the economy.
Global Affairs Canada recognizes both the need and the solution to building and empowering this economic “missing middle” – especially for women SME owners. The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophie said of the FINEDEV Program, “Giving women in Ghana easier access to financing and a better understanding of their economic opportunities is crucial. This initiative will help support thousands of Ghanaian women to become real economic actors in their communities.”
Opportunity International Canada is honoured to be partnering with Global Affairs Canada and Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans and look forward to the innovative and sustainable impact that we can have together in Ghana.