President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday commenced the disbursement of a GH¢4-million fund to support 1,000 beneficiaries of the Presidential Empowerment for Women Entrepreneurs with Disability at the Jubilee House in Accra.
The beneficiaries will not be required to pay any interest on the amount, except to pay back only 50 per cent of the amount they receive under the programme, being executed by the Ministry of Business Development.
Under the initiative, conditions of disabled women entrepreneurs are expected to improve, so that they can take advantage of the business-friendly environment and programmes such as One-district, One-factory (1D1F).
It is anticipated that each beneficiary will be able to employ at least two persons.
A 2018 study conducted by Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurship found that in Ghana women business ownership stood at 46.6 per cent, the highest in Africa.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
Presenting the cheques for the money to the beneficiaries, President Akufo-Addo said the disbursement of the fund was part of his government’s support for disabled women entrepreneurs to help them scale up their businesses and employ more people.
He said the Ministry of Business Development had set a target of mobilising GH¢4 million for the next two years to support 1,000 disabled women in businesses and had so far been able to raise GH¢2 million.
He said he would personally follow their work and possibly visit the beneficiaries in due course to monitor progress of work and urged them to work hard to expand their businesses.
The President said the government had made strenuous efforts to include women in the political and economic decision-making process and the Presidential Empowerment for Women Entrepreneurs with Disability was one of the initiatives to support more women in national development.
He said a recent report by the World Bank had indicated that empowering women entrepreneurs to serve as agents of economic opportunities could help Africa fulfil its need for high quality employment, particularly within the context of widespread unemployment among the growing youth population.
He said the report added that women and the youth were spearheading the creation of businesses in the hospitality, retail and agricultural sectors and that was why the government, through the Ministry of Business Development, was focusing on improving the quality of women entrepreneurs.
He recalled that on August 7, last year 1,350 Ghanaians received the Presidential Support Programme, with beneficiaries receiving seed capital ranging from GH¢10,000 to GH¢100,000, adding that out of the 1,350 beneficiaries, 58 per cent were women.
President Akufo-Addo said six out of the 10 innovative business ideas that emerged as winners in the Presidential Pitch last year were created by young women entrepreneurs and gave an assurance that more of such business initiatives would be implemented to support women.
He assured Ghanaians that the government would continue to implement policies and programmes aimed at building a fair and inclusive society which would create equal opportunities for all.
He said he had confidence in the can-do spirit of Ghanaian entrepreneurs and that the future of Ghana’s private sector was extremely promising.
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.