MTN Foundation, through its MTN Y’ellopreneur Initiative, designed to provide capacity-building through entrepreneurship training and funding opportunities for 20,000 Nigerian females.
In Nigeria, women constitute over 50 per cent of the Nigerian population and out of this, only about 35 per cent of them are involved in Entrepreneurship in form of micro, small, medium, and large enterprises. According to United Nations report, in 2020, only 47 per cent of women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to 74 per cent of men, a gender gap that has remained relatively constant since 1995.
To bridge the gender gap, the executive secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya, at a media parley, in Lagos, said MTN Foundation has partnered with Mastercard Foundation and Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of Pan-Atlantic University, to train 20,000 Nigerian female entrepreneurs on entrepreneurial skills.
The EDC will be providing advisory and business support services for a period of three months. It will also conduct marketplace event for the trained female entrepreneurs, while Mastercard Foundation will be providing funding support for those selected.
After their training, the executive secretary said trainees will have access to loan with two per cent interest rate. “If they can pay the loan at the stipulated time, they will be getting 25 per cent of the loan, as grants.”
Also, speaking at the programme, the programme director, Mastercard Foundation Transforming Nigerian Youth Initiative, Nneka Okekearu said that Mastercard Foundation, through its Young Africa Works Strategy, sets out an ambitious goal for the next decade to enable 30 million young people in Africa, especially young women to secure employment.
A consultant at EDC, Fayo Williams, said the Y’ellopreneur Initiative has opened a huge opportunity for women in Nigeria, while revealing that the 20,000 female entrepreneurs will be trained on how to prepare a business/growth plan, register their businesses, create website for their businesses and be visible online, among others.