With an average income of $2 per day, many Ghanaians struggle against the debilitating effects of chronic poverty and hunger. Opportunity Ghana’s operations began in 1994 as the Sinapi Aba Trust (SAT). Sinapi Aba means “mustard seed,” calling to mind the extent to which clients can grow from such a small beginning. Today, SAT provides nationwide coverage in Ghana with significant operations in all 10 of the country’s regions through 47 branches that serve hardworking grassroots entrepreneurs with an array of microfinance products and services.
In 2005, Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL), was created to offer deposit services and increase outreach to Ghana’s most marginalized rural families and communities. Other key services include:
Agricultural Loans: Loans help farmers pay expenses during the growing season. OISL maps and profiles clients’ farms, enabling the bank to customize agricultural lending to provide accurate input levels and funding. Savings accounts and insurance products also help ensure farmers’ food security. The crop focus in Ghana includes cocoa, chili, plantain, citrus and onions.
Education Finance: Since 2008, more than 1,000 schools have received loans that help proprietors expand classroom capacity, improve sanitation and enhance classroom technology. School fee loans and school fee insurance are available to parents. EduSave, an insurance-linked education-specific savings product developed with our insurance subsidiary, MicroEnsure, helps children continue to pay tuition in the event they lose their family income through a parent’s death or disability.
Youth Apprenticeship Program: Launched in Kumasi in 2003, SAT’s Youth Apprenticeship Program (YAP) is a groundbreaking project that transforms the lives of vulnerable Ghanaian youth. YAP provides uneducated and unemployed young people the skills necessary for success in viable trades.
Transformational Training: SAT believes that transformation is achieved not only through financial services and financial literacy training, but also through support services like HIV/AIDS awareness and education, advocacy, business development training and linkages to market sources and information.
Additional Services Offered
- Agricultural Finance: loans and targeted farmer training, plus mapping and profiling
- Savings: personal savings, long-term deposits, agro-saver (geared toward farmers) and EduSave
- Insurance: credit life, funeral, worker compensation and weather-indexed crop
- Cell phone banking and money transfers
- Water supply loans (helps entrepreneurs build community water supply businesses)
- Land title and home improvement loans (Habitat for Humanity partnership)