The Ministry of business development hope to raise an amount of GH¢4m within the next 2 years as a form of financial support to disabled women entrepreneurs across the country and will be disbursed as loans with a minimal interest.
Speaking at a fundraising gala night on the 29th of November, 2018 in Accra to climax this year’s National Entrepreneurship Month celebration which focused on women entrepreneurs, the first lady of Ghana Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo who was the special guest of honor hinted that, women across the globe contribute to the economy with innovative products and services that are transforming lives and creating jobs and wealth in every community.
According to her, women across the world face challenges with access to financial services, business development services and ownership of land. These factors she indicated that make it very tough for women to improve their businesses and grow them to become big businesses.
“When it comes to women with disabilities, these challenges are compound. In addition to what the general population of women suffers, these women suffer discrimination and violations of their basic human rights, in all facets of life. Many women with disabilities have limited access to education, health care, decision-making, and employment opportunities, thus aggravating their conditions of poverty”, she said.
A recent study from the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurship in 2018, looked at 57 economies, representing 78.6 per cent of the world’s female labour force and reported that in Ghana, women’s business ownership is the highest (46.4 per cent and further noted that women and youth in Ghana are spearheading business creation, especially in the sectors of hospitality and retail, agriculture and government services.
With those figures in mind, the First Lady noted with satisfaction that under the Presidential Business Support Programme of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme of the Ministry of Business Development, 58 per cent of the 1,350 beneficiaries who received financial support were businesses owned by women.
Out of the 10 innovative business ideas that won in the Presidential Pitch, six were owned by young women entrepreneurs.
“It is for this reason that I consider today’s fundraising event very important in supporting our disabled women in business towards the achievement of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Ghana,” she added.
She expressed optimism that through the collaboration between the Ministry of Business Development and the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, the entrepreneurial capacity of women can be improved significantly to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available now under the industrialisation agenda and various initiatives of the government including the “One District One Factory”, and “Planting for Food and Jobs”.
Mrs. Rebecca however called on the Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs and other business associations promoting women entrepreneurship to undertake vigorous advocacy activities to improve the lot of our Ghanaian women.
The Minister for Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, said the Ministry would set up an advisory body early next year to determine the modalities for disbursement of the funds raised.
Dr Awal stated that “about 1,000 physically challenged women in business nationwide would be targeted to benefit under the initiative.’’
He, therefore, called on business executives, cooperate institutions and philanthropists to contribute generously to the fund.
He said the initiative was in the fulfillment of the President’s agenda to ensure that no woman was left out in Ghana’s development agenda.
He commended Mr George Owusu who donated $100,000 and McDan Shipping for their contribution to the fund.
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs. Cynthia Morrison,observed that physical challenges did not connote inability.
“When we empower these women, they would achieve whatever drive they have and God will bless you for it,” she said.
The month of November was dedicated to celebrate disabled women entrepreneurs by the Ministry of Business Development as part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Month celebration.
The maiden edition spearheaded by the sector minister, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal organized series of activities in observing the maiden edition of the celebration.
An educative seminar was first held on the 8th November to equip women entrepreneurs with skills to become robust entrepreneurs followed with a health walk on 10th November to create awareness about the celebration and lastly to climax it all, a fundraising gala was organized.