The Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) has launched a tricycle project aimed at creating employment for the youth and reducing poverty in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Speaking at the launch, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. John Alexander Ackon, urged the youth to take advantage of similar policies under the Youth Enterprise Authority (YEA) to redefine their economic targets. He also reminded beneficiaries that the tricycles are not passenger-carrying vehicles and should be operated within the law to avoid any confrontation with the law enforcement agencies of the state.
The Minister advised beneficiaries to take notice of the fact that the products are loans and are required to be paid back for others to benefit. He emphasized the need for MASLOC to conduct a background check of beneficiaries to ensure that the products get to the right people. The Minister also suggested that MASLOC could offer some form of business advice to beneficiaries through a collaborative venture with the NBSSI, which may have expertise in small-scale business management training.
MASLOC was established by the Government of Ghana in 2006, with the aim of providing soft loans to small-scale businesses, school feeding caterers, and vehicle hire purchase. The organization has gone through a major restructuring in 2011, with the aim of refocusing its products to include small group loans. The launch of the tricycle project marks a new dimension to MASLOC’s services, as the products are targeted at individual applicants who are in the small-scale business segment in the region.
The Minister expressed his hope that MASLOC will continue to grow from strength to strength and be a major source of support to the agricultural and transport industries, providing hope to thousands of people engaged in the small-scale sector of the economy who may not be ready clients to established financial institutions in the country.