Chief Executive of Women’s World Banking Ghana, Charlotte Baidoo is calling on microfinance institutions to do more when it comes to lending to women and female entrepreneurs.
This comes on the back of the President’s call to the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) to ensure 50 percent of their loans are given to women in small-scale farming and businesses towards government’s goal of achieving gender equality in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking to reporters she called on other players in the microfinance sub-sector to do more with regards to lending to women businesses.
Madam Baidoo said, “Even the women at the market centres they cannot leave their things and come to you so you have to go there. So I will plead with my colleagues and other savings and loans, other microfinance practitioners, other rural banks to go there to the field because the work is there on the field.”
She also bemoaned women are marginalized in the society and as such more must be done to enable them to benefit more. She also opines on the average, their loan repayment habits differ from men.
She said, “Women pay more loans than men. I am saying it emphatically as a practitioner. When you give a woman money they pay the money back than men and there are facts to back them.”
Nature of business activities
Madam Baidoo also reveals that from her experience most women seeking loans are engaged heavily in trading, buying and selling of goods as well as the provision of services such as sewing.
The nature of these businesses also gives them a need for working capital to support their businesses and that is where lenders should pay attention to.
Source of funding
She supported the President’s directive to MASLOC to ensure greater lending to women in small-scale-farming, she, however, bemoaned the high cost of funds which will do not allow for more room to lend to sectors such as the agriculture sector which she described as not boding well for lenders due to the seasonal nature of agric.
“Most of us the money that we get in on-lending is purely from money market business and it’s quite very expensive,” she added.
Apart from the cost of funds, the tenor of their sources of funds is also short-term which again go to affect lending to women in agriculture.