Assessing the contribution of microfinance institutions to rural women empowerment in the upper west region of Ghana

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The contributions of women in the economy of Ghana can never be over emphasized particularly in agriculture and trading yet majority of them are the poorest, less privileged and most marginalized especially when it comes to household decision making. As much as these women are very passionate up the up keep and welfare of their families, coupled with their enthusiasm to engage in gainful ventures, they do not have the needed capital to start. This is where mfis come in timely to handle relief women particularly rural folks with small loans and training in business management and to financial literacy practices. This study sort to access the contributions of microfinance institutions in empowering rural women in the Upper West Region, Wa. The survey research design was used in conducting this study. Questionnaires and semi-structured questionnaire were designed in line with the study objectives to enable the researcher gather the relevant and required data from respondents to meet the study’s objectives. The following were revealed as findings of the study: Majority of rural women into various businesses in the Upper West Region are within the youthful work force. It was also observed that the most demanded products and services which mfis render to rural women in the region were savings and credit. There is also a strong indication that, mfis provide loans to rural women in groups and have also helped to improve their business with accessibility to training in business management and funds. It is also indicated that the repayment rate of these loans by rural women is excellent as well as savings and this means a good business for mfis in the region. The study recommends that, mfis should also take advantage of the excellent loan repayment and good savings culture among rural women to find tune their operations to better serve and improve businesses operating with them.
A thesis submitted to the institute of distance learning, Kwame Nkrumah university of science and technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the commonwealth executive masters in business administration (cemba) (finance option).