Department of Gender Affairs to fund women owned businesses

The Department of Gender Affairs, which was formerly known as the Department of Women’s Affairs is urgently looking for eligible women and their male business partners to submit detailed business plans for possible funding.

The business plans should be compiled by groups of at least five members.

Lately, women, people with disability and the girl child have been the main focus of the department.

Senior Gender Projects Officer at the Gender Affairs Department James Keorapetse says they have not received the anticipated number of applicants as they had expected, simply because, there has not been that many enquiries about the application process.

He further explained that people tend to come and enquire and collect all the necessary information, then from there onwards, they don’t follow up on the process.

He said, “We are opened all year round, and once a group has submitted applications, the turnaround period is about three months.

Sometimes the approval of the project takes far less than that. Once we have made the site visit it can even take close to a month for us to start disbursing the funds. ”

He said, “Projects which have been funded in the past include food processing like production of peanut butter and atchar.

Apart from the usual farming projects, we also fund other projects such as leather works and upholstery design.”

The group of five can either comprise of all women, or have not more than two male members if need be.

The group has to come up with a constitution and elect the relevant board members.

Since the fund is meant to create employment and economic empowerment amongst women, the group’s members must not be overcrowded by men.

Meanwhile the gender affairs department also funds project initiatives that are owned and run by disabled people.

“With an urge to take affirmative action and drive our point home, we need to make it a matter of fact to prove that, disability is not inability, which is why we are urging eligible people to apply,” said Masilo.

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