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Busoga Leaders Want GROW Project to Prioritize Rural Women Entrepreneurs :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Busoga Leaders Want GROW Project to Prioritize Rural Women Entrepreneurs

The government secured a substantial grant of USD 217 million from the World Bank to fund the project, including USD 40 million dedicated to supporting refugees and host communities.

Audio 4

Leaders from the Busoga sub-region have asked the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development to prioritize women entrepreneurs at the grassroots level in the Growth Opportunities and Productivity for Women Enterprises (GROW) project.

Last week, the Gender, Labour, and Social Development Ministry rolled out the project.

The government secured a substantial grant of USD 217 million from the World Bank to fund the project, including USD 40 million dedicated to supporting refugees and host communities.

While attending a meeting on Thursday in Jinja City, the leaders argued that, as much as they are targeting 1,000 beneficiary groups across the 135 districts and 11 cities across the country, most women businesses in rural areas are not registered, making them ineligible for the project.

Solomon Baleke, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner of Namayingo said that the project implementers mapped out 552 pilot groups across the country without consulting the respective district leaders and technocrats alike. This he says raises suspicion on the procedures used in choosing beneficiaries, without the scrutiny of local governments, which have accurate information concerning the economic status of their people.

Baleke also said that conducting capacity training at the incubation centers of Kawanda and Makerere University Business School respectively, will lock out many rural women entrepreneurs.

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Elijah Kagoda, the LCV Chairperson of Kaliro said that the project should be re-designed to focus on the empowerment of rural business women, whom he says will be steering wheels for the economic growth of Busoga.

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The State Minister in charge of the Elderly and Disability Hellen Asamo said that the project is targeting active women entrepreneurs, only requiring a boost to thrive to other levels.  She said that they plan to boost their targeted women entrepreneurs with machinery to expand their businesses.

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The project aims to benefit 60,000 female-owned enterprises, including 3,000 refugee-owned businesses, with an additional 1.6 million indirect beneficiaries. These beneficiaries include male partners, communities, and household members across 135 districts and 11 cities in Uganda.

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