The beneficiaries, who had earlier gone through training on how to manage their businesses and received certificates, were categorised into the following sectors: 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 of GH¢276,000, followed by those in agribusiness, who had GH¢77,000, while the beneficiaries in fashion and beauty and service received GH¢70,000 and GH¢65,000, respectively, with those in ICT receiving GH¢45,000.
Similar support will be extended to women young entrepreneurs in the northern sector at separate events to be held in Tamale and Kumasi.
Never Buy Water again
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 capacities of young women entrepreneurs and transition them from necessity-entrepreneurs to opportunity-driven entrepreneurs.
It entails building their capacities through training, monitoring, coaching and funding.
The scheme, which is in the form of 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, Hajia Samira Bawumia, who is the wife of the Vice-President, expressed her excitement at the project.
She described the initiative as a human capacity development drive that sought to promote the economic empowerment of women in the country.
“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 that fostered private sector investment and job creation.
She stressed her commitment to ensure 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.
Quoting the 2018 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurship, she said Ghana had the highest percentage of women business owners worldwide, “but not withstanding this positive participation in Ghana’s business ecosystem, the majority of these women entrepreneurs are stuck at the very lower levels”.
She, therefore, called for a deliberate focus on the contribution of women that provided a springboard for the acceleration of their economic development and inclusive growth.
In his address, the Minister of Business Development, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, noted that in the last few years, more businesses had been owned by women, but expressed concern that those businesses were limited to the individuals and their immediate families.
He said there was, therefore, the need for a policy to help women expand their businesses and compete, adding that that led to the birth of the initiative, with the kind support of the SEHP.
Dr Awal said Ghana could not succeed without its women entrepreneurs, saying that it was for that reason that within the next four months, the ministry and NEIP, with support from the SEHP, would deliver GH¢3 million in support to scale up the skills of young women entrepreneurs.
For her part, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Cynthia Morrison, congratulated the beneficiaries on choosing to be self-employed and urged them to try to repay the loans given them to enable others to also benefit from the initiative.
A representative of the beneficiaries, Ms Mardiya Suleman Cheiba of the Zongo Viation Hub, expressed appreciation to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for believing in the youth and to the ministry for the support extended to them and gave an assurance that they would not let the ministry down.