Asia Initiatives

Promoting Health and Financial Stability for Women

Kumasi, Ghana

In communities in Kumasi, many women find themselves struggling to financially support their families. Most women are often living in poverty, have not completed formal education and work as vendors in the Bantama Market for low wages. For many of these women, the need for these loans to finance their businesses led them to borrow from microfinance companies that offered loans at 43% interest rates, effectively wiping out the women’s chances of repaying the loans, let alone making a profit from them.

SoCCs have allowed women to secure 12% interest loans that boosted their business production and sales. As a result, the women were able to not only make more money but to become more confident and business savvy. At the end of 2015, about 138 women were enrolled in the program, and about 200 collateral-free loans worth about 229,394 Ghanaian cedi ($60,000) had been disbursed to the women. To gain admittance to the SoCCs program, women must undergo a preventative health screening, a first for many of the participants. Women are earning SoCCs for maintaining the cleanliness of the market, supporting their female children's education as well as other health and education initiatives. This project is run in collaboration with WomenStrong International and Women's Health to Wealth. Read more about the Kumasi project  here.