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Despite the vast establishment of microfinance institutions to provide banking services for the less privileged and alleviate poverty, not everyone has access to or the capacity to meet the banking terms. For this reason, Savings and Loan Groups (SLGs) have become the preferred alternative for a lot of people, especially women smallholder farmers (WSHFs) in various rural and even urban communities in Northern Ghana. A major outcome of the GROW2 project is to provide economic support to women in the various project zones; the project has identified the significance of these SLGs to women in this aspect. To this effect, provision is made to provide existing and new SLGs with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to help them derive more benefit from them.

During the course of the project’s implementation, URBANET’s project officers identified certain communities with existing SLGs, however, they had limited knowledge on how to maximise the impact of their savings as well as a more secure place for their daily contributions/savings. These existing SLGs have been recruited as clients of the GROW2 project and have received orientation on the project as well as its impacts on their groups and other aspects of the project they would benefit from. 

Most of these SLGs had their daily savings placed in plastic containers, food flasks, and other items that were not fit or secured to be used as “mini banks” or savings. With credit to URBANET’s Project Officers, these groups have been taken through a series of intensive training sessions on how to keep records, track members’ loans, ensure consistency of payment by members, and maximise and use benefits from the savings to transform the groups and assist members when the need arises. They have also been provided with secured boxes with locks to contain their daily savings in order to improve security and avoid theft.

URBANET has and will be identifying more interested women in the various Zones of Influence to create SLGs to improve their economic and financial status and their living standards. The Project also aims at ensuring that, through the SLGs, the women or clients are able to afford the many innovative technologies to assist them in their farming and entrepreneurial activities.