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Minister urges women entrepreneurs to embrace GROW project

MBALE, February 23, 2024 – The Minister of State for Gender, Labour, and Social Development in charge of Disability Affairs, Hellen Grace Asamo has urged women entrepreneurs to embrace Generating Growth Opportunities and Productivity for Women Enterprises [ GROW] Project to boost their businesses.

Minister Asamo made the call recently in Mbale City during a sensitisation meeting organised for women entrepreneurs from 15 districts in Eastern Uganda including Mbale, Sironko, Bulambuli, Manafwa, Pallisa, Kumi, and Kibuku among others.

She emphasised the significance of the US$ 217 million [about Shs 802.9 billion] project funded by the World Bank, adding that it will address the gender gap in various sectors such as ICT and provide comprehensive support to women-owned businesses.

Asamo said, “This grant will offer an integrated package of services for women entrepreneurs, including enterprise access to finances, gender-inclusive initiatives, building a one-stop center to create market, infrastructure, program management and policy innovation.”

She warned women entrepreneurs  against misusing the grant, further asking them to use the money to generate profits and foster development in their areas.

For her part, Faridah Kibowa from the National Women Council expressed her excitement about the government’s initiative to empower women. She  urged beneficiaries to handle the funds responsibly if they are to be supported further in the future.

She highlighted the economic challenges faced by women, emphasising the transformative impact of economic empowerment programmes in addressing issues like domestic violence. “If women have money they can pay school fees, buy food at home and stop solely depending on their men,” she said.

For her part, Nakayenze Sandra, a coffee farmer, expressed gratitude for the GROW project, highlighting the challenges women face in accessing capital and achieving gender balance.

Speaking during the meeting, Peninah Cheruto, Vice Chairperson of Amudat district, highlighted the economic disparities faced by women in her community and expressed optimism about the GROW project’s ability to positively impact their lives.

Meanwhile, Hobyanga Sylvia, Headteacher of Elgon Junior Christian School in Mutufu Sironko district, echoed the sentiment of women empowerment, and welcomed the opportunity for women to access low-interest loans, saying it will help the women to enhance their enterprises and break barriers in traditionally male-dominated sectors.

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