TORONTO, ON–Opportunity International Canada congratulates Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans for their recognition as the 2020 Gold Winner for the Best Bank for Women Entrepreneurs, awarded by the International Finance Corporation and the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Finance Forum, and Best Company in Promoting Gender Equality, awarded by the Sustainability and Social Investment (SSI) Awards 2020 in Ghana.
Opportunity International Canada (OIC) and Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL) also recognizes Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for their partnership in the Financial Inclusion for Enterprise Development project in Ghana, which prioritizes providing access to formal financing, financial literacy, business training, and gender-equity strategies, with a focus on SMEs, women, and vulnerable groups throughout Ghana.
The funding and partnership provided by GAC, in collaboration with OIC, has fueled SASL’s development, launch, and success in serving SME clients, especially women. In the midst of COVID-19, these awards are a testament to SASL’s continued determination to serve its clients.
A long-time Opportunity partner in Ghana established in 1994, SASL offers a wide range of financial and non-financial services to more than 400,000 clients, of whom more than 80 percent are women. SASL believes every person should have the dignity of providing for themselves, and that vision guides them in building their clients’ financial strength and livelihoods through business training, networking, and mentorship programs. SASL helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses by graduating from microfinance products to larger loans and more advanced services such as digital finance, providing them with the means to continue operating their businesses during COVID-19. When SASL customizes and markets financial services to women, they also reach men who face similar barriers, including low literacy and lack of collateral. Their effective gender strategy achieves both social and business objectives.
The Best Bank for Women Entrepreneurs Award was presented to SASL on October 27 at the SME Finance Forum. Organized by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, the Global SME Finance Awards are endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion and celebrates the outstanding achievements of financial institutions and financial technology organizations in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.
The Best Company in Promoting Gender Equality Award was presented to SASL on November 13 at the Sustainability and Social Investment Awards 2020. This is an annual event in Ghana and recognizes agencies who deliver high impact projects that align with the Ghanaian Government’s focus on Sustainable Development Goals.
“Canada is proud to support SASL’s award-winning work through our partnership with Opportunity International in Ghana. SASL’s efforts to support women’s SMEs are helping to build more inclusive economic growth in Ghana, which is critical for the nation’s recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. AYEKOO! (Congratulations!) to Joyce Owusu-Dabo and the SASL team! Keep up the great work.” Sara Nicholls, Acting High Commissioner for Canada in Ghana.
“These awards are a great recognition of the tireless efforts of the SASL team to unlock the determination, energy, and entrepreneurial spirit of women and men living in poverty in Ghana by empowering and equipping them to reach their full potential,” says Dan Murray, President and CEO, Opportunity International Canada.
Opportunity International Canada is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps people in developing countries work their way out of poverty, strengthen their families and improve their communities through holistic microfinance. Opportunity Canada is part of the Opportunity Network, founded in 1971, which currently provides loans, savings programs, insurance and other financial services and training to more than 7.1 million loan clients and 12 million savings clients over 28 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Clients use the resources to expand businesses, provide for their families and create jobs in their communities. Discover more at opportunityinternational.ca