June 14, 2024
First National Bank helps Makola with money management skills

First National Bank has rolled out its financial literacy initiative, ‘Shika-Power’, at the Makola market in Accra.

The training program aims to educate and equip traders with essential financial management skills to better manage their hard-earned money and positively influence their behavior toward their business operations through effective record-keeping and bookkeeping practices.

First National Bank’s Head of Retail Banking, Akweley Laryea, says the bank is committed to helping communities thrive by providing appropriate financial empowerment and business excellence tools.

She pointed out that by investing in the financial education of market women and shop owners, First National Bank is not only supporting individual entrepreneurs but also contributing to the broader economic development of communities. The empowered market traders and entrepreneurs can drive local commerce, create jobs, and foster economic resilience, she said.

“We believe that starting with our market women and shop owners, who play a pivotal role in Ghana’s economy, driving local commerce, and supporting their families and communities, is the best way forward,” Madam Laryea said. “To address some of the challenges in managing their finances, we have dedicated the ‘Shika-Power’ initiative, under our integrated advice solutions, to provide practical and accessible financial literacy training to help these entrepreneurs.

We have just started with Makola, but the ShikaPower drive will be stopping at some more markets in Accra, Kumasi, and Takoradi to ensure that the benefits of this integrated advice and consumer education reach more business owners.”

Participants, most of whom are shop owners, traders, and entrepreneurs within the Makola open market, were taken through the best practices to create and maintain a budget, understand income and expenses, and set financial goals. They also learned the basics of keeping accurate records, managing cash flow, and tracking sales and expenses.

Madam Laryea explained that by learning how to save and invest wisely, traders can build a financial cushion and grow their wealth over time. “These foundational skills are crucial for making informed financial decisions and ensuring long-term sustainability for personal and business financial management,” she said.

“This is the beginning and a first step to helping our celebrated traders gain financial resilience in a tough macro economy. With this understanding, they can now leverage financial tools to expand their businesses and enhance their financial security.”

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Madam Ayorkor Mensah, a shop owner at the Makola Shopping Center, expressed her delight with First National Bank’s decision to start the Shika Power financial education with their market. “Here at Makola, we are not particular about proper bookkeeping and financial planning,” Madam Ayorkor said.

“We just sell, take our money, and count it without recognizing how our money comes about and how it go. My fellow market folks and I have been enlightened on how managing our finances effectively can lead to improved personal and business financial health. We can now make informed decisions, leading to greater confidence and independence.”

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