Women Entrepreneurs in Northern Ghana Gain Access to Integrated Services Via Agents Networks
Women Entrepreneurs in Northern Ghana Gain Access to Integrated Services Via Agents Networks (WE GAIN) is a project to create access to digital financial services and gender-based violence services for women entrepreneurs in five districts in the Northern region with funding from Grameen Foundation (USA) and technical support from MTN (Ghana).
Identify and publicize the multifaceted barriers that prevent women in northern Ghana from starting and growing successful businesses, and opportunities to address these barriers through an integrated package of Digital Financial Services (DFS+) services delivered by female agents.
Support female CSO agents in launching their own DFS+ microbusinesses providing financial services to other women entrepreneurs across Northern Ghana.
Increase women entrepreneurs’ access to a greater range of non-financial, business, health, and Gender Based Violences (GBV) services that enable them to start and grow successful businesses and live resilient lives.
What has been done already?
Recruitment of 30 agents in the communities to operate digital and GBV services;
Orientation training of agents and their spouses on the WE GAIN project;
Onboarding of agents as Mobile money agents with start-up capitals;
Training of agents in business skills, Digital Financial Literacy, Digital platform management and Sex and gender-based violence services.
The project officers experienced several challenges such as having to work with participants’ children, their distance from the various trainings and the rains that slowed down some of the trainings. Nevertheless, the project is fruitful and lessons can already be drawn out of it:
Participants gained more understanding on the roles as DFS+ agents in delivering GBV messaging;
Male engagement mechanism of including agent’s spouses improved the buy-in of stakeholders;
The involvement of GBV state actors gave legitimacy to the roles of DFS+ agents;
Agents need continuous refresher trainings to improve their acquaintances on the DFS+ agent’s roles.
The impact of the project is already tangible. Digital financial services are in high demand in the communities, especially on major markets days: market women have indeed embraced DFS as a safety mechanism to avoid being robbed. Male involvement in the project is also a success since DFS+ agent’s spouses have shown commitment in supporting the agents. Undeniably, the digital platform has become an empowerment drive for the agents.
Ayisha Salifu, a DFS+ agent in Nwogu who is a secretary to their VSLA indicated that “I was given an additional capital by my VSLA group from our weekly contributions to help me address my challenge of access to physical cash rebalancing. This has improve my business and other agents from Mbanayili and Gbulung calling in for Physical cash support”
This project is funded by