Female challenged small business owners to get support

BY: Edward Acquah
Library photo
Library photo

Five hundred physically challenged women who own small businesses are to benefit from a GHC2 million fund to expand their ventures.

 The Minister of Business Development, Dr Mohammed Awal, who announced this, said each beneficiary would receive between GHc1,000 and GHc2,000, with an interest rate of 10 per cent on flexible terms of payment.

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He was talking to journalists after a health walk in Accra last Saturday which formed part of activities marking the 2018 Women Entrepreneurship.

Marginalisation


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He explained that the programme was in view of the government’s resolve to end the marginalisation of persons with disability (PWDs) and build an all-inclusive society.

Dr Awal noted that even though about five per cent of the population were PWDs, some of whom had been able to create small businesses, their inability to access financial services hindered the growth of their enterprises.

He said the Business Development Ministry had already trained personnel to scout for PWDs across the country who run their own businesses and submit their details for them to receive support.

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Focus on women

Dr Awal expressed worry that although women constituted about 52 per cent of the country’s population, only a few of them had access to financial services such as loans and business consultancy.

He said women were good managers of businesses and when offered the required support, they could contribute immensely to the welfare of others and the country at large.

“We cannot grow Ghana with 52 per cent of the population being marginalised. We need the support of women in the effort to improve our production capacity and achieve our dream of growing beyond aid,” he stressed.

He also noted that the general lack of interest among the population to own businesses was a contributory factor to the high rate of unemployment in the country, adding that studies had shown that only two per cent of students who graduated from the universities had the intention to set up their own businesses.

He pointed out that the situation was worrying, given that there were no adequate jobs in the system.
He said the ministry for its part, was committed to rolling out supportive programmes towards deepening the entrepreneurial culture in the country.

Health Walk

Last Saturday’s walk, held on the theme: “Financial inclusion for women entrepreneurship”, was to raise awareness of the need to support women entrepreneurs to enable them to overcome their financial barriers and expand their businesses.

The five-kilometre walk, which began from the Independence Square through to the John Evans Atta Mills High Street and some communities within James Town, was led by Dr Awal and some staff of the ministry.

It attracted tens of entrepreneurs, and with messages such as: “Boosting Ghanaian businesses, the role of women entrepreneurs” written on placards, amid drumming and singing, the team engaged some petty traders on the streets to acknowledge their effort and encouraged them to work harder.