The effect of Women’s World Banking (GH) Limited on the woman in the informal sector: a case study of Kumasi

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1.1 History of Women’s World Banking (Gh) “The woman’s place is the kitchen “they say. This has been the guiding phrase when families face financial problems and some of the children have to end their education. It is always the girl child that suffers for the simple reason that she will be in the kitchen whether educated or not. Her duties are that of housekeeping and she is thus trained informally as such. Consequently, majority of the women population in Ghana are found in the informal sector of the economy engaged in commercial, manufacturing, and service activities. Even though they are active in these activities, they seldom see expansion in their businesses. It is to help solve this problem that Women’s World Banking Ghana Limited (WWBG) an affiliate of “Stitching to Promote” Women’s World Banking (WWBG) came to be established in Ghana in 1988. This was as a result of the conference of women held in Mexico City in 1975 to discuss issues that affect the socio-economic development of women world wide. At this conference, twelve (12) women came together from all over the globe to discuss a common objective which was central to the advancement and empowerment of women With over 52 affiliate organizations in over 40 Countries world wide, WWBG was among the first to be established in Africa. With its head office in Accra, Makola, the bank has branches in Keneshie, Tema, Kumasi and Takoradi. The branch in Kumasi was opened in 1991. The main objectives of the bank is to economically empower the average Ghanaian woman through the following ftinctional programme. a) Provision of savings and credit facilities to women micro and small scale entrepreneurs to enhance the economic status. b) Provision of training, business development and counseling geared at developing the entrepreneurial skills of the Ghanaian woman 1.2 Objectives I) The research is to evaluate the services offered by Women’s World Banking Gh (WWBG) to its target group women micro and small-scale entrepreneurs and its impact on them 2) It is also to assess the importance of the women in the informal sector to the socio-economic development of the Ghanaian economy 3) Lastly, it will identify the characteristics of the women in the informal sector of Ghana with particular reference to Kumasi and Ghana in general. .3 Justification The present awareness created by women groups world wide on the need to alleviate poverty among women and to bring them into the lime light has made the choice of a research on the topic appropriate. The attention of government in developing countries especially, and donor agencies has been focused on the woman to help her wake up from her economic slumber. By coming out with the importance of the women in the informal sector to the socio-economic development of the country, government and foreign agencies will be made aware of the need to support this group. Besides, the identification of their characteristics will enable government, donor agencies and governmental organisations to develop more suitable package to help them expand their businesses. In the same way, the assessment of Women’s World Banking’s performance for the past six years will reveal its achievements and failures. The knowledge of these (achievements and failures) and the recommendations in the research will help the bank to make corrections and adjustments where necessary. This will go a long way to accomplish the bank’s corporate objectives. 1.4 Methodology The research was based on primary and secondary data. For primary, the interviewees were selected from the total population of the clients of WWBG in the Kumasi metropolis. A questionnaire was designed and was administered by the interviewer. The findings are presented qualitatively with some tables. Also, secondary materials were used to supplement the primary data that was collected. These materials were borrowed from the British Council library, Kumasi.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Management, 1997