Prime News Ghana

Gov't justifies the decision to allow more women to apply for Coronavirus Business Alleviation Programme

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Government has justified its decision to allow more women to apply for the Coronavirus Business Alleviation Programme.

Explaining why the government has decided to pay more attention to female entrepreneurs, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Robert Ahomka-Lindsay said there are some challenges that are peculiar to female business owners.

 According to him, male business owners are not left out of the various stimulus packages for small businesses but rather there will be a conscious effort not to allow female business owners to be disadvantaged.

"Our businesses are for men and women period. Let's be very clear on that and that is what we are doing, so when we are looking at these businesses we are...I have already stated that the majority of our businesses are already for women but what we are doing is that when we are going through the process to identify who gets it, we know there are some challenges that are uniquely associated with women entrepreneurs."

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"That is where we take account of that and provide a mechanism for that not to be the basis of disadvantage. Not to say we are not interested in our men, we are interested in both let's also be very clear here we have men and women in this country and we support both."

"But we know in certain circumstances women are disadvantage and those areas are where we are going. This is not a women-only fund."

In a related development, the government says it will be investing more funds to accelerate the growth of micro, small and medium scale enterprises in the coming months.

The move is part of the post-COVID-19 recovery programme aimed at strengthening the economy.

Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Robert Ahomka-Lindsay said the government knows the importance of small businesses to the economy hence the decision to support them.

"The reality is that we know the 700million the government has committed plus this 90million that is coming through from the partnership is the start. This government knows the importance of small and medium scale enterprises to our economy, and anytime we have a different programme that has come forward... so you will see that as time goes on more will come through but this is about recovery and resilience, the next part is growth that is a very important aspect." 

Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NSBBI), Kosi Yankey also indicated that they hope to improve and expand small businesses in the country to bring about development.