The Ministry of Business Development has disbursed GH¢61,000 to 50 women with disability to boost their businesses as part of the government’s support scheme for disabled women entrepreneurs who engage in trading and other businesses.
Beneficiaries in the trade and commerce category got GH¢16,500, while those in food and beverages had GHc17,000, with those in the beauty and fashion and the hospitality categories getting GH¢20,000 and GH¢7,500, respectively.
Half of the money was offered to them in the form of a loan with zero interest rate, to be paid over one year, while the other half is a grant.
The Minister of Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, said the loan was expected to help set up new businesses for the women, as well as expand the businesses of those who were already engaged in entrepreneurship.
He said the goal of the scheme was to create jobs for disabled women to improve their livelihood, adding that the “government has said that it doesn’t want to leave anyone behind and intends to keep to this promise”.
“The scheme is also expected to create jobs for 4,000 people because we envisage that every business we create will employ at least four people and that will help eradicate unemployment,” he added.
Dr Awal indicated that the scheme started earlier this year and had disbursed a total of GH¢550,000 to 600 disabled women entrepreneurs.
“We expect that by the end of next year, 1,000 disabled women would have benefited from the initiative, so that our disabled women will have their own businesses and cater for their own needs,” he added.
He explained that the ministry had collaborated with the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) to set up control teams to monitor the work of the women in order to ensure the sustainability of the project, stressing: “We don’t only want to give them money but also help them sustain the businesses and invest,” he added.
The Leader of the beauty and fashion category, Ms Victoria Serwaah, said although repayment had been scheduled for one year, beneficiaries who would be able to pay back within three months would be eligible to receive another loan the following year.
She said the major part of their training was on trade management, adding: “We were taught how to disburse our funds effectively and efficiently, so that we will keep continuous record of our capital and profit.”
She expressed gratitude to the ministry and the government for the intervention.
“We opened accounts and I look forward to saving my profit to buy treasury bills towards the future of my children,” she added.
Ms Serwaah indicated that she would use her money to expand her provision shop.