The MTN Foundation in partnership with Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) and the Mastercard Foundation, has announced the training of 20,000 female entrepreneurs on sustainable business development. The announcement was made on Tuesday, 15 August 2023, at a media event hosted by the MTN Foundation, at the MTN Nigeria Head Office, Falomo, Ikoyi.
The 20,000 female entrepreneurs were selected from the 42,000 applicants who registered for the MTN Foundation Y’ellopreneur initiative in August 2022. The training is focused on equipping women with the right skills for business expansion skills.
Speaking on this, the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya said “We discovered a gap with women being able to manage and own businesses. It dawned on us that a capacity building programme could help bridge this, hence the launch of the Y’ellopreneur initiative.”
“During the first phase of the initiative, while training the selected 500 Y’ellopreneurs, a few of them asked if it was possible to open the training for other women, as they were seeing changes in their businesses even though they had not finished the training. We commenced conversations with EDC and now have both EDC and Mastercard on board to train 20,000 women. This for us, is fulfilling a pledge that we made when we unveiled the Y’ellopreneur initiative.”
Director, Enterprise Development Centre & Program Director, Mastercard Foundation, Nneka Okekearu, highlighted that Mastercard Foundation is strongly committed to partnering with organisations to achieve its 2030 goal of equipping young people. “At Mastercard Foundation, there is a continent-wide strategy that by 2030, 30 million young people across Africa will have access to dignified and fulfilling jobs. This is an initiative across seven countries including Nigeria. We are hoping to have between eight to ten million Nigerians within a five-year period in Nigeria. We know we cannot do this alone hence our partnership with MTN Foundation. Without partnerships, we cannot achieve much.”
Also speaking on the training, Consultant, Enterprise Development Centre, Morounfayo Williams said “The EDC is known for gender-specific programmes to help bridge the knowledge and confidence gap among female entrepreneurs. We have success stories of entrepreneurs who have passed through EDC’s training like Ayodeji Megbope who took moi-moi to The White House, among others. EDC will continue to be that knowledge partner who can bring on board business development service professionals from all over the country. We handhold these women to overcome gender biases and other challenges women tend to face.”
The four-week capacity-building initiative is a strategic effort to reduce female unemployment in Nigeria, transform growing small businesses owned by Nigerian women, and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8 – decent work and economic growth.