Maldives’ Social and Family Development Minister, Dr. Aishath Shiham, has unveiled a new MVR 100 million loan program dedicated to aiding women entrepreneurs. The initiative was announced during the inauguration of the “Hiyala Weekend Market,” an event established to offer women entrepreneurs a dedicated space to exhibit and sell their products.
The initiative, fulfilling a promise by President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, is seen as a major boost for women in business. Minister Aishath Shiham expressed that the realization of this promise is a substantial encouragement for women entrepreneurs. She highlighted that this initiative’s impact goes beyond supporting individual entrepreneurs, as it holds the potential to foster sustainable living for families and contribute to the overall prosperity of society.
Demonstrating the importance of contentment in a family, Minister Aishath Shiham referred to international research showing the positive impact of a woman’s happiness on the overall well-being of her family. This underpins the government’s belief in the necessity of empowering women, not just for their own sake but for the health and happiness of the wider community.
The government’s commitment to this cause is further evidenced by its decision to disburse the MVR 100 million loan specifically for women soon. Additionally, a loan for small businesses is also on the horizon. The minister reiterated the President’s commitment to fulfilling key promises that enable women to lead fulfilling and dignified lives.
The minister also encouraged as many women as possible to seize these opportunities. The Hiyala Weekend Market, located in the Container Park area of Hulhumale’s first phase, will operate every weekend from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm, providing a vibrant space for women to engage in commerce and community building.