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Gambia: 18 women receive $300,000 in business grants for entrepreneurial ventures

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

Eighteen women entrepreneurs have received a boost with a collective sum of US $300,000 in small business grants. Since the inception of the program three months ago, these women have wasted no time in putting the funds to good use, investing in new equipment, expanding their operations, and even creating employment opportunities.

Administered by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the program not only provided financial support but also offered valuable business coaching, along with courses in digital and financial literacy. Equipped with these skills, the entrepreneurs were introduced to e-payment systems and the Afrijula e-commerce platform, empowering them to manage their finances efficiently while broadening their reach and customer base.

Among the success stories, clothing manufacturer K Creations transitioned entirely to solar power, while herbal tea producer Yaxare and fashion designer Dignified now operate 70% of their machines on solar energy, leading to substantial savings on electricity costs.

These grants were dispersed through the Jobs, Skills, and Finance (JSF) Programme, a collaborative effort between ITC and UNCDF, aimed at providing comprehensive economic support through access to finance, quality business development services, and digital and financial literacy.

Under the guidance of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment, the grant committee comprised representatives from various organizations including the Gambia Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GWCC), the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA), and the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce (GYCC).

Kemo, a representative of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration, and Employment (MOTRIE), acknowledged the transformative impact of the MSME grant financing, emphasizing its role in upgrading machinery, expanding business operations, and launching new product lines. He expressed gratitude to the JSF program and the EU for their support, highlighting the inspiration to extend similar structured assistance to other MSMEs.

The JSF model, employed in the selection and distribution of grants, proved to be highly effective, fostering collaboration in entrepreneurship and business development realms.

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