Government supports 69 young businesswomen with GHC533,000

The money is to help build the capacity of young female entrepreneurs and transition them from necessity-entrepreneurs to opportunity-driven entrepreneurs

Sixty-nine female entrepreneurs in the Greater Accra Region have received GHC533,000 to boost their businesses under the “Young Women Entrepreneurship Initiative”.

The beneficiaries had earlier received training in information and communications technology (ICT), fashion and beauty, agribusiness, service and trade and commerce.

Those in the trade and commerce sector received the highest amount (GHC276,000), followed by those in agribusiness, who had GHC77,000. Beneficiaries involved in fashion and beauty and the services sector received GHC70,000 and GHC65,000, respectively, and those in ICT GHC45,000.

Similar support will be extended to young female entrepreneurs in the Northern sector of the country at separate events to be held in Tamale and Kumasi.

Monitor, coach and train

The Young Women Entrepreneurship Initiative is a project being undertaken by the Ministry of Business Development and its implementing agency, the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), in collaboration with the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP).

It is aimed at helping to build the capacity of young female entrepreneurs and transition them from necessity-entrepreneurs to opportunity-driven entrepreneurs. It builds the young women’s capacities through training, monitoring, coaching and funding.

The scheme, which takes the form of soft loans, will help the beneficiaries expand their businesses to enable them to move from obscurity into the limelight.

Addressing the beneficiaries, the founder of the SEHP, Samira Bawumia expressed her excitement at the project. She described the initiative as a human capacity development drive that seeks to promote the economic empowerment of women in Ghana.

“It is aimed at supporting start-ups and businesses owned by female entrepreneurs to ensure the advancement and development of the entrepreneurial capacity of women in our dear nation,” she said.

Mrs Bawumia commended the Ministry of Business Development for championing the goal of creating a sustainable entrepreneurial and innovative business environment which fostered private sector investment and job creation.

She stressed her commitment to ensuring that women became active players in the economic space of the country, adding that it was for that reason that the SEHP sought to drive entrepreneurial development among women.

More support coming

Quoting the 2018 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurship, she said Ghana had the highest percentage of women business owners worldwide, “but notwithstanding this positive participation in Ghana’s business ecosystem, the majority of these women entrepreneurs are stuck at the very lower levels”.

She called for a deliberate focus on the contribution of women which will provide a springboard for the acceleration of their economic development and inclusive growth.

Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, Minister of Business Development, said in the past few years, more businesses owned by women have emerged. However, he expressed concern that these businesses are limited to individuals and their immediate families.

He said there was, therefore, a need for a policy to help women expand their businesses and compete. He said it was this that had led to the birth of the Young Women Entrepreneurship, with the kind support of the SEHP.

Dr Awal said Ghana cannot succeed without its female entrepreneurs, and it was for this reason that, within the next four months, the ministry and the NEIP, with support from the SEHP, will deliver GHC3 million in support to scale up the skills of young businesswomen.

Cynthia Morrison, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, congratulated the beneficiaries on choosing to be self-employed and urged them to repay the loans given them to enable others also to benefit from the initiative.

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.

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