Govt launches GROW project in Agago district

AGAGO, May 21, 2024 – Government has launched the Generating Growth and Opportunities for Women Enterprises [GROW] project targeting to benefit about 200 women-led enterprises in Agago district.

The State Minister for Economic Monitoring in the Office of the President, Beatrice Akello Akori launched the project on Thursday at Patongo Town Council during the belated International Women’s Day celebrations.

GROW is a World Bank-funded-project worth US$ 217 million [about Shs 800 billion]. It is being run under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in partnership with the Private Sector Foundation Uganda [PSFU].

The project is planned to end in 2027 and the expectation is that it should have helped some of the microbusiness run by women to become small and medium enterprises [SMES].

According to the officials, the GROW project is an initiative that arose out of the need to respond to the needs of women entrepreneurs in Uganda. The project is expected to sustain women-led businesses so that they are able to create wealth and jobs.

Akello asked the district technical team equipped with the information about the project to sensitise women in the district on how to access the project’s funds meant to improve their businesses and livelihoods.

She cautioned the officials managing the project against selecting their relatives and friends who don’t own any business or experience.

“You should select women who are already doing business because if you select someone who doesn’t have any experience in doing business and you give such a person a big sum of money, there is a high possibility that the money will not be effective,” she said.

She said through GROW project, government wants to increase the capacity women who already run small businesses.

Akello who is also the Agago district woman representative in parliament  also directed the Resident District Commissioner James Nabinson Kidega and his team to monitor the project and ensure that there is no corruption. “There is no excuse that we are lacking human resources because you are four in that office,” she said.

On his part, the Agago County MP, David Lagen Atuka lauded government for bringing different initiatives targeting women who are struggling in business.

He said if the GROW project money is properly used, it would reduce poverty in the households and domestic violence in the communities as families will be able to meet their daily needs.

On the other hand, the Community Development Officer Agago district, Gabriel Oola said number of women in the district need grants and loans to boost their businesses, noting that programmes like the Ugandan Women Entrepreneurship Programme [UWEP] that have supported women financially, the GROW project will further support the struggling businesses.

Naity Akello, business woman dealing in simsim paste and honey said she has applied for a training on mushroom production and is hopeful she will succeed with the GROW project.

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