photo blog of an international business school in Madrid
Ye de sika na epe sika.
Money is used to earn money.
— Akan proverb in Twi, the language of Ghana
Last week, a group of students, faculty, and alumni traveled to Ghana as part of the Financieros sin Fronteras (financiers without borders) program. This photo shows students from the Master in Finance programs speaking with the owner of Sheriff Stationary & General Goods in Assin Foso, a small town outside Cape Coast. The owner of the general store is the recipient of a loan from ASA Initiative, a Financial NGO (FNGO), and they are asking her about that loan… does she know what micro-finance is? how is it to work with ASA? when and in what installments does she pay the loan? has she received any financial training from the institution?
The goal is to help ASA work better as an institution; and to improve micro-financing in the region as a driver for entrepreneurship and the eradication of poverty.
The students and alumni spent two days at the ASA headquarters in Cape Coast talking with the staff about their business and two days going to small communities in rural Ghana to visit the business owners. The students spend about 10 weeks preparing for the trip, and then have just a few short weeks to analyze the information they’ve gathered in Ghana for their final report.
The second half of the program brought finance professors Maria Lopez-Escorial, Carlos Tapia, and Marco Trombetta to the country’s busy capital, Accra, to teach executives working in micro-finance institutions. Three tracks were offered: Governance, Financial Management, and Financial Modeling.
As the Akan proverb implies, it is hard to earn money if you have nothing to start with; thus, micro-financing helps spur entrepreneurship through small loans — and programs like FsF help institutions and loan recipients with the tools and business acumen to make the most of that money and growth. Not to mention, students get the unique opportunity to experience a new culture, a growing economy, and entrepreneurship at its inspirational best.