During the “Ahaa” public forum held on January 25, Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed revealed that 25% of a new loan program designed to encourage women in business will be specifically allocated to those with special needs. This initiative marks a progressive step in addressing inclusivity in the business sector.
Additionally, Social and Family Development Minister Dr Aishath Shiham informed that the MVR 100 million loan reserved for women entrepreneurs is set to be issued shortly. This move is part of the government’s broader commitment to enhancing the role of women in the economy. Dr Shiham also announced the upcoming introduction of a financial aid scheme aimed at supporting small businesses, which is expected to further stimulate economic growth and entrepreneurship.
During the forum, concerns were raised about the challenges individuals with special needs face in accessing buildings and mosques. The lack of accommodating infrastructure was a key issue discussed. The ministers present at the forum pledged to address these concerns, committing to improve infrastructure and ensure better accessibility for people with special needs.
Further, Minister Saeed highlighted the government’s “Week 14” roadmap, focusing on the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. He mentioned ongoing efforts to facilitate the disbursement of loans for small businesses in collaboration with foreign institutes. Additionally, the government plans to introduce a special financial scheme for content creation, encompassing areas like short films and video clips. This scheme is part of a broader strategy to provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs and foster a creative industry in the Maldives.