The Shea Network Ghana (SNG), an organisation of Shea Sector Businesses, Stakeholders and Value Chain actors, has called on Financial Institutions within the five regions of the North, to create a tailor-made credit facility for women-led businesses in the Shea value chain. The National Coordinator of the SNG, Iddi Zakaria who made the call, observed that access to financial credit facilities for women-led businesses has been a challenge in Ghana and even more difficult for those in rural and shea regions as a result of the lack of collateral, and urged FIs, to create a flexible and moderate credit facility for women businesses especially those in the shea sector to help them start, grow and sustain their ventures Mr Iddi made the call at a one-day engagement with Financial Institutions(FIs), organised by the OXFAM and its partners last Tuesday in Tamale "For us in the shea business value chain, we are looking at what can you (Financial Institutions) offer to our women, these women don't have collaterals, but how can you (FIs) come in to support them to be able to grow and sustain their businesses?" he asked "Though these women may not have the required collateral, they need your (FI)'s support, so what is that you can offer to them, and at what rates?" he stressed The meeting was organised by the OXFAM Ghana in partnership with the Shea Network Ghana and 5 other NGOs at the Mariam Hotel. It was attended by Financial Institutions(FIs) from the Upper West, Upper East, Savanna, and Northern Regions. It was part of the implementation of the Systems Innovation for Women's Economic Empowerment (SIWEE) a pilot project implemented by the OXFAM Ghana in partnership with the Shea Network Ghana, Peasant Farmers Association, Mondelez and the Tungteiya Women's Association, The Coordinator said for women entrepreneurs to strive better there was a need for Financial Institutions to support them with the needed capital and technical assistance to help them launch and expand their businesses. He also said the SNG as a leading organisation in the shea value chain, was providing the required platforms for stakeholders and actors to share industry experiences and knowledge, facilitate synergy and promote shea usage, develop opportunities for stakeholders and share benefits for all. SIWEE. The System Innovation for Women’s Economic Empowerment (SIWEE) is a pioneering, collaborative action learning-oriented initiative, designed to catalyse and facilitate transformational change for women’s economic empowerment in 9 communities from the Northern, Savanna, Western, Eastern and Upper East regions. SIWEE aims to take a systemic approach to structural issues best addressed by a coalition of multiple actors, recognising that single actors have been unsuccessful in resolving the complex challenges of effecting real transformations in Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) on their own. The project's ultimate end goal is to develop solutions tailored and relevant to resolving complex and systemic social challenges and barriers for women beneficiaries. SIWEE targets 270 Women-Farmers in 3 value chains (Cocoa, Shea and Sorghum). Unlike other projects, SIWEE is distinct in that it seeks to and requires the engagement of multiple players with the power to affect the different parts of the system for which a solution is required. Source: