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Micro-credit for low-income women in Ghana

Requested by

Human Development Focus

Who are you trying to help? What issue are you trying to address?

Human Development Focus is a NGO non-profit organization working for total development of humankind, especially for the disadvantaged and marginalized population in society. We started a micro credit scheme for low income women in 2002, helping to provide funding to improve incomes of poor women in trading, farming and self-employed businesses. The women are formed into groups of 5 to 9 serving collateral for each other during repayment of the loans. They meet regularly to discuss plans for repayment, challenges encountered in their businesses and trades, as well as strategies to mitigate repayment delays.

Due to the high illiteracy rate among rural women in the Brong Ahafo regions, about 80% of women are unemployed. They are not able to provide financial support to their children. When women are financially sound they are able to provide for their children. They are able to send their children to school, provide basic need for their families and therefore curb social vices in the communities.

Many women in that part of Ghana need some small amount of money to kick start a business or farm. Our loans are used as seed capital in their small-scale trading, or for buying seeds for farming, buying farming tools and hiring labour. Some also used the loans to expand their businesses. We are working with 20 groups in the two districts we are operating. We want to expand to two new districts as well as increase our groups in the existing districts.

What is your project and how will it help?

The project is a micro credit scheme for low income women, as women are loyal and honest in the repayment for loans. Research has shown that women repay loans better than men. This is why Human Development Focus (HDF) started the micro credit scheme using its own funds. The scheme has helped about 150 women to improve on the incomes and therefore their healthcare, and other basic necessities of life such as clothes, food security and shelter.

The project is aimed at improving the lives of poor and low income women by providing them with money to do business, farming, as well as improving their livelihoods. To ensure security and accountability, the women are selected through a selection process. After their application has been received, they are interviewed and formed into groups. The groups choose their leaders and then trained in simple book keeping, how to organize meetings, marketing skills, and how to make their businesses sustainable. They are then given small loans. Individual members are responsible for their own repayments to their groups. Our farmers are also trained in extension services and post-harvest losses as well as introducing other farming ventures like bee keeping, mushroom farming, snail farming and fish ponds. They are encouraged to practice these new skills in their backyard.

How can other people partner with you on your project?

It is our vision that a partner would bring revitalization by injecting some substantial amount of money into the scheme. The partner would also bring fresh ideas and knowledge and skills into the organization. We are planning to cover half of the 15 districts of the region by the year 2016. We want a partner to fund the expansion project as well as supporting us to venture into new projects like reproductive health, food security and livelihoods project that we are developing.

We will need capacity building for our personnel and office equipment.

Please detail the resources that you need.

We will need:

- money for the loans – USD 3,000 per year for 5 years = USD 15,000
- training for our staff
- office equipments – a computer, printer and photocopier (USD 2,000)
- one motor bike (USD 3,000)

Contact details

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Partnership types

Project funding

Regions / countries / territories

Africa: Ghana

Global issues

Job creation and enterprise development; Financial accessibility and management; all (3)


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