One thousand women with disabilities on Tuesday received GH¢ 2 million Ghana Cedis under the Presidential Empowerment for Women Entrepreneurs with Disability to support their businesses at a ceremony at the Jubilee House, Accra.
The implementing agency of the programme -- Ministry of Business Development -- is strategically repositioning disabled women entrepreneurs to help improve their enterprises, and, also take advantage of the business-friendly environment as well as the One-district, One-factory (1D1F) programme.
The beneficiaries are expected to pay back 50% of the amount received and are also required to pay a zero interest on the actual money received. Each beneficiary is required to employ at least two persons.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who presented cheques to the beneficiaries, said the fund, formed part of government's effort at supporting disabled women entrepreneurs to help improve their businesses and employ more people.
The President congratulated the women and assured that he would visit and personally monitor the progress of their businesses and urged them to work hard to expand their businesses.
He said the Ministry of Business Development had so far raised GH¢2 million out of the GH¢4 million targeted in the next two years, to support the disabled businesswomen.
President Akufo-Addo said the government had in the past two years made frantic efforts to include women in the political and economic decision-making process, hence the establishment of the Presidential Empowerment for Women Entrepreneurs with Disability.
A recent report by the World Bank, the President said, indicates that empowering women entrepreneurs to serve as agents of economic opportunities could help Africa fulfill its need for high-quality employment, particularly within the context of widespread unemployment among the growing youth population.
The President said, the report added that women and the youth had ventured into the hospitality industry and were spearheading the retail and agricultural sectors, which made it imperative that government, through the Ministry of Business Development, focused at improving the quality of women entrepreneurs.
On August 7, last year, 1,350 Ghanaians received seed capital ranging from GH¢10,000 to GH¢100,000, with 58 percent being women under the Presidential Business Support Programme (PBSP).
President Akufo-Addo said six out of the 10 innovative business ideas that emerged as winners in the Presidential Pitch Competition last year, who were young women entrepreneurs reassured that his conviction that more of such business initiatives should be implemented to support women.
He said the government would continue to implement policies and programmes aimed at building a fair, just and inclusive society which would create equal opportunities for all.
President Akufo-Addo expressed confidence in the can-do spirit of Ghanaian and was positive of the future of Ghana's private sector.
The Minister of Business Development, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, said the ministry had been inspired by the commitment of the President to include everybody in the development agenda.
He said young women had, over the years, strived for support to grow and expand their businesses without getting any, but under the current dispensation, they had found a partner who was ready to support them financially.
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)