Impact assessment of Women's World Banking Ghana (WWBG) on some of its targeted clients: a case study of the Kumasi Branch

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Microfinance is an indispensable tool for the alleviation of poverty all over the world. Statistics show that women are the most poor. This feminization of poverty cannot be overemphasized, with the number of women living in poverty having increased disproportionately to that of men in the past decade. According to the National Commission on Women and Development (NCWD 2000), cultural norms and values . constitute a power barrier to the economic progress of women. These norms and values have restricted women's access to other resources like education and finance. Women's World Banking Ghana (WWBG), a savings and loans company, is one of the many Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) helping to reduce poverty among women by granting them microloans. WWBG has operated in the country for almost two decades now and this study has sought to investigate the impact it has made on some of its clients with regards to their primary goal of enhancing the advancement and empowerment of women in micro andv small scale enterprises. For this assessment, an innovative Check-list Tool which employed a combination of some indicators of CASHPOR Housing Index and Participatory Wealth Rating was used. The study showed that the majority of its clients were petty traders having some form of formal education, with primary or senior secondary education level being the highest attained. The services of the WWBG as per type of loan, loan amount, requirements for accessing loans and support services were perceived by the clients as very good but its repayment plan by weekly installments is not the best for most clients. Though the study showed improvement in the lifestyles of clients as per number of square meals per day, the numbers of children attending school, respect from family and peers as well as acquisition of business capital, these improvements were insignificant. The study revealed that clients of WWBG need repeated loans with good repayment installment package among others, to enable them rise from poverty, become empowered economically and socially, and then secure a political voice. To achieve this, WWBG need be a little more accommodating and understanding, while pursuing the intended agenda aggressively.
A thesis submitted to the College of Arts and Social Sciences, KNUST School of Business, 2008