At least 100 entrepreneurs with disabilities from Lira, Nebbi and Zombo districts are set to benefit from Shs170 million business resilient matching grant program.
Business resilient matching grant program is aimed at helping entrepreneurs with ddisabilities to revive their businesses from economic shocks, support their business growth, create market and employment opportunities, and help them gain sustainable incomes.
Sanjay Rughani the CEO, Standard Chartered Bank said they need to embrace the necessary principles, practices and changes needed to be more inclusive, towards individuals with disabilities. “We strive to be a disability confident organisation with a focus on removing barriers and increasing accessibility to ensure that all employees, clients and those in our wider communities are supported to be their best”. He said.
Adding “We are proud to make a difference in so many lives through our education, employability and entrepreneurship programmes where we equip, train and offer life skills, capacity building as well as grants and financing to micro and small businesses owned by persons with disability,” he said.
John Mwesigye the Chief Technology and Operations Officer and Disability Pillar lead at Standard Chartered Bank Uganda said the bank is committed to lifting the participation by transforming the lives of the youths especially women and people living with disabilities from low-income households and promote greater economic inclusion for them through our Future makers programmes.
He said the bank’s Employable programme helps to create job-ready PWDs by providing them with knowledge and skills, soft-skills training, career mentoring and job placements.
Rose Namutebi Project Coordinator, Highflyers Uganda Office at Cordaid Uganda said entrepreneurs are the backbone of local economies, playing a vital role in creating jobs, stimulating innovation, and fostering economic stability.
“We also understand the plight and challenges faced by Persons with Disability and that is why we work with several partners and government to implement programmes that alleviate the challenges of various youth in the agricultural sector,” she said.
She said it is also sad to note that even when persons with disabilities do have the necessary qualifications, they still struggle to find employment. This is due to discriminatory attitudes towards PWDs and most workspaces not being inclusive. We hope that this business resilience matching grant will improve the welfare and businesses of the beneficiaries.”
Minister of State for Disability Affairs, Helen Grace Asamo commended the Bank and its partners for this initiative stating for supporting Government efforts by investing in entrepreneurs with disabilities.
“We will continue to put several measures in place and offer various support to youth in various communities to assist them navigate the various challenges they experience and empower them to create sustainable income generating activities,” she said.