Gambia Women Chamber of Commerce and Reliance Finance Services, last Thursday
signed a memorandum of understanding that entails a 50 million dalasis loan to
the women chamber to encourage their involvement in business.
Baboucarr Khan, managing director of Reliance Financial Service said signing of the agreement will herald the beginning of the partnership cooperation between them and GWCC.
He said the amount will be a revolving fund for members of the GWCC who meet the minimum criteria to access loan facility. “This is Reliance’s way of strengthening the Women Chamber in furtherance of our market position as the preferred finance services partner of Gambian women,” he said.
He said their cooperation is not limited to the provision of access to finance but also in the development of innovative value propositions that would enable women to fulfil their financial goals as a means of enhancing women empowerment through entrepreneurship.
The president of GWCC, Naffie Barry said the establishment of GWCC is to assist women in accessing finance, build up their businesses and ultimately reduce poverty.
Ms Barry said the memorandum of understanding will enhance the capacity of women and grow their businesses. “Women face challenges when it comes to finance in their businesses,” she said.
Amie Bensouda, RFS board chairperson said when reliance was established, it was to change the lives of ordinary people in the society. She said Reliance Financial Services is there to reach out to all marginalised people across the country.
Bensouda said some business women have no access to credit or capital because the finance market did not carter for them and cannot exploit opportunities in there locality and business. “We were not only going to be a private entity but also a social enterprise. We have to invest in our customers before they become genuine customers,” she said.
She said as a micro finance company, women were going to be their natural partners because they always consider their integrity and fear of being shamed among their peers.
She said in 2016, they disbursed over one billion dalasi in loan for women with a 98% rate of repayment.
She said the new partnership with women chamber is Reliance’s way of contributing to the strengthening of the Chamber by providing the most needed access to credit which is a challenge the women face.