Physically-challenged women entrepreneurs to be supported

Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister for Business Development

The Ministry of Business Development has announced that measures have been put in place to support physically-challenged women entrepreneurs, as part of its activities lined up in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Month.

During a capacity development seminar for women entrepreneurs held in Accra, Chief Director for the Ministry, Mr. Joe Tackie, said physically-challenged women entrepreneurs contribute enormously to development of the economic sector yet are hardly accorded proper recognition.

He said a gala night will therefore be held as part of activities lined up for celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Month, to mainly raise funds for supporting them as well as recognising their efforts.

Under the theme ‘Financial Inclusion for Women Entrepreneurship’, this year’s celebration, under Ghana’s Ministry of Business Development, is particularly focused on women to help build their capacity and recognise their contribution to national development.

“We recognise the enormous contribution women are making in this country. Indeed, Ghana and the women doing business in this country have been recognised as leaders in the world, and this is very important for us. As a ministry, we are very anxious to build the capacity of our women in business and give them the opportunity to share their concerns – which also feeds into whatever we do as a ministry,” he said.

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The women present for the capacity development seminar were also exposed to a body of knowledge in the areas of communication, marketing, finance, investments, banking and risk management, as well as insurance.

On his part, the Minister for Business Development, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, noted that the fear of failure is one of the pertinent issues which prevent women from venturing into entrepreneurship and scaling-up their businesses. He therefore encouraged the women present to build a pipeline of synergies for interactions and relationship building.

He said: “Get up and do more. No successful business person started just once and it happened. It is a gradual process, so don’t fear. Have the positive mindset of a champion that you will succeed, because government will support you”.

He also revealed that Bank of Africa, as a partner bank, has agreed to reduce interest rates on loans for women entrepreneurs to scale-up.

In attendance was the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison, who noted that her ministry is partnering with the Ministry for Business Development to provide skills development training to 15,000 head-porters, popularly known as Kayayei.

She said the move is aimed at making these women strive for more, and equipping them with a stable financial income.

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“We want to tackle Kayayei because they are exposed to victimisation, rape and cold weather conditions. We want to support them so that they can go back to their homes and train other girls, too. We are doing a registration project, wherein we will give them a code so they will be under our watch. We will monitor and group them into clusters with leaders; they can’t carry forever,” she said.

Chief of Staff Madam Frema Osei Opare said women are contributing to the country’s economic growth and development by introducing innovative products and services, thus creating jobs for communities.

She said there are many more women entrepreneurial ventures than those managed by men, despite the numerous challenges in sub-Saharan Africa.

“80% of women are engaged in various economic activities and operate in the informal micro- and medium-scale sector. There is a lack of business development services, mainly because most women operate in the informal sector. We therefore have to focus on women’s contribution toward inclusive growth.”

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