President Akufo-Addo on Friday July 24, 2020, presented 2 million Ghana Cedis to 1,000 disabled entrepreneurs to empower them economically.
The initiative is under the Presidential Empowerment for Male Entrepreneurs (PEMED) programme, and is being spearheaded by the Business Development Ministry.
At a short ceremony at the Jubilee House, Accra, President Akufo-Addo said government is committed to building an inclusive society in which every citizen, irrespective of the circumstances of birth, has the opportunity to develop fully, his or her God-given talent, to participate in the national development process.
He pointed out that the policies and programmes that his administration had instituted since assuming the reins of power, had all been geared towards enhancing the productive capacity of all Ghanaians to enable them contribute meaningfully to the nation’s social and economic transformation.
The President, whose speaking notes dwelt on the theme: “Financial inclusion For Male Entrepreneurs with Disability,” said the PEMED was particularly significant, as government strives to revive and reinvigorate the country’s economy, after the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He stated that rebuilding the Ghanaian economy, after Covid-19, puts an even greater premium on entrepreneurship and businesses, saying, “We need to do all within our power to create an entrepreneurial climate, to enable our young people, including the physically challenged, to come up with creative ideas which will develop into businesses.”
The beneficiaries received between GH¢10,000 and GH¢50,000.
The first category were barbers, who got GH¢10,000; Second category was for shoemakers and cobblers. They received GH¢15,000.
The third category- tailors and dressmakers were given GH¢25,000, and the fourth group, persons in Trade and industry, had a GH¢50,000.
The fund had a fifty per cent grant element, and the other 50 per cent, interest free loan, payable in 2 years.
The President indicated that the funds presented to the physically challenged entrepreneurs would provide relief and also empower persons with disabilities to improve their economic circumstances.
“You, the beneficiaries, have already undergone training in areas such as financial management, business management, risks, marketing, and operations. It is expected that you will be guided by the structured training you have undergone, to enable you scale-up your businesses, and create job opportunities for people,” he said.
The President told the beneficiaries that their female counterparts, who received financial support and training last year under PEWED, had found creative ways of investing their cash to scale-up their businesses and created jobs.
The Ministry of Business Development, through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan, he stressed, would continue to provide mentorship, training, and monitoring, to ensure the successful execution of the businesses of the 1,000 beneficiaries.
The Business Development Minister, Ibrahim Awal, said government would promote the entrepreneurial capacity of the youth and the physically challenged, as well as nurture, build and promote indigenous Ghanaian businesses.