The founder of Flourish Africa Folorunso Alakija, has revealed plans to provide skill and seed fund for about 2,500 female business operators in Nigeria in the next five years.
She provided this information during when 501 female entrepreneurs received various skills and another 100 beneficiaries provided with N2 million seed grants each for their businesses, having emerged successful from a business pitch competition.
In her comments after the Flourish Africa Business and Life Skills Training Programme in Lagos, Alakija, commended the second batch of entrepreneurs on completing the four months training programme.
She also called on the beneficiaries to utilise the knowledge and skills acquired from the training while urging beneficiaries of the grants to make a difference in their spheres of influence and also contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
Alakija, was pleased at the indelible impact Flourish Africa has made on thousands of women, which is evident in the way their businesses have grown to become established and beneficial to their communities.
“The Business and Life Skills Training programme is targeted at female-owned Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and is focused on raising the next generation of economically empowered women on the continent.
“Starting with Nigeria, the vision is to empower the entrepreneurial activities of at least 2,500 female business owners through funding and structured training over five years and to provide them with the skills needed to manage successful and financially viable businesses,” she said.
Expressing appreciation to all the partners for their support thus far, she called on other public-spirited individuals and organisations to lend their support to this noble cause through funding, training, mentorship, and advisory services, saying that such gestures would go a long way to assist in scaling up its activities not only in Nigeria but in Africa and beyond.
The West Africa Regional Director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, Ms Em Ekong, who spoke on the topic,” Boosting African Economies through Female Entrepreneurship,” commended the founder for the great initiative as well as her invaluable role in providing access to the much-needed business skills and funding required for female entrepreneurs to propel their businesses.
While addressing the graduating entrepreneurs, Ekong stressed the need for them to take full advantage of the opportunities that the Flourish Africa network has provided by ensuring that they deploy the knowledge gained for the greater good.
Regional Director of Bank of Industry (BOI), Nigeria, Dr Kings Jack, who was represented by the Group Head, Gender Business Group, Large Enterprises Directorate, Adebola Oruma, noted that the agency has multiple platforms for women to get the right support, including access to funding.
Jack stated that the agency is passionately committed to industrialising Nigeria by lending support to structured businesses in the areas of advocacy, business advisory services, and access to finance.
One of the beneficiaries, who spoke on behalf of the 501 female entrepreneurs, Kikelomo Fola-Ogunniya, expressed profound appreciation to the firm for providing a platform for women to gain valuable insights into the intricacies surrounding running a successful business.
She stated that they have now been empowered to contribute meaningfully to the economic advancement of the nation, even as they impact the lives of other women.