The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has presented GH¢2 million to 1,000 women entrepreneurs living with disability, under the Presidential Empowerment for Women Entrepreneurs with Disability.
At a brief ceremony at Jubilee House, on Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, President Akufo-Addo stated that the Presidential Empowerment Programme is not only a fulfillment of an NPP Manifesto pledge to support women entrepreneurs and help improve the livelihoods of the disabled, but also to help realise goals no. 5, 8, and 10 of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
"Having set a fund target of some GH¢4 million, over the next two years, to support disabled women in business, the Ministry of Business Development has so far raised GH¢2 million of the amount. The one thousand (1,000) beneficiaries will not be required to pay any interest on the amounts they are going to receive," the President said.
He continued, "They will only pay back 50% of the principal advanced to them. This gesture is part of my government's support to our disabled women entrepreneurs, to help them scale up their businesses, and employ more people. We anticipate that, with the monies being given to them today, they will and should be able employ, at least, two persons."
President Akufo-Addo was confident that, through this initiative, the conditions of Ghanaian disabled women entrepreneurs can be improved significantly, so they can take advantage of the growing business-friendly environment in the country, and also take advantage of the numerous opportunities available under the several flagship programmes of Government such as the "One District, One Factory", "Planting for Food and Jobs", and "One Village, One Dam" projects.
More newly created businesses owned by women
Addressing the gathering, the President noted that over the last decade in Ghana, newly created businesses have been run and owned by women, as opposed to being owned or managed by men.
That is why Government, according to the President, under the auspices of the Ministry of Business Development, is focusing a great deal of its attention on improving on the quality of women entrepreneurship in the country, to help achieve the goals of sustainable, inclusive growth, enhanced livelihoods, and the creation of jobs.
He recalled how on 7th August, last year, one thousand, three hundred and fifty (1,350) men and women, from all parts of the country, became the first recipients of the Presidential Business Support Programme, with beneficiaries receiving seed capital ranging from ten thousand cedis (GH¢10,000) to one hundred thousand cedis (GH¢100,000) each.
"It is noteworthy that 58% of the one thousand, three hundred and fifty (1,350) businesses that received financial support were of those owned by women," he said.
The President continued, "Again, six (6) out of the (10) innovative business ideas, that emerged as winners in the Presidential Pitch event of 25th June, 2018, were created by young women entrepreneurs. We are not resting on our oars, because we believe there is still a lot of work that has to be done in helping to provide support, especially for our women."
Gov't doing more for PwDs
To the leadership of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations, President Akufo-Addo stressed that if there has been any Government that has been on the side of Persons with Disabilities, it is his Government.
"Amongst others, we have increased the share of the District Assemblies Common Fund to Persons with Disabilities from 2% to 3%, and we have also ensured the implementation of our pledge of employing 50% of the persons who manage the country's toll booths from amongst Persons with Disabilities," the President said.
President Akufo-Addo assured further that his Government will continue to implement policies and programmes aimed at building a fair and inclusive society, which creates equal opportunities for all.
"My confidence in the sheer energy and can-do spirit of the Ghanaian makes me believe that, in you, our women entrepreneurs, the future of the Ghanaian private sector is extremely promising," he added.