The MTN Foundation in partnership with Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) and Mastercard Foundation has announced that they will be training 20,000 female entrepreneurs on capacity-building for 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 but did not make it to the final round. The training in partnership with Mastercard Foundation and EDC is focused on equipping women with business expansion skills, to advance women’s development in the area of entrepreneurship.
Speaking on the training, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya said “At the Foundation, we got into some desk research and we found there was a gap when it came to women being able to manage and own businesses. It dawned on us that we needed to build the capacity of women and bridge the gap, 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 up the training for other women who had applied, as they were already seeing changes in their businesses even though they had not finished the training. We commenced conversations with EDC and now we 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. I know there are many programs like this, but I daresay if we keep at it and maintain the levels of excellence that we have set as standards, then we can see more women excel.”
Director, Enterprise Development Centre & Program Director, Mastercard Foundation, Nneka Okekearu, also highlighted that Mastercard Foundation is strongly committed to partnering with organisations to achieve its 2030 goal of equipping young people. She said “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 can not do this alone hence our partnership with MTN Foundation. Without partnerships, we can not achieve much.”
Also speaking on the training, Consultant, Enterprise Development Centre, Morounfayo Williams said “The EDC has been known for this gender-specific programs 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, amongst others. EDC will continue to be that knowledge partner who can bring on board business development service professionals from all over the country, and we can handhold these women to overcome some of those gender biases and other challenges women tend to face.”
The four-week capacity-building training is a strategic effort to participate in the reduction of female unemployment in Nigeria, help transform budding small businesses owned by Nigerian women, and achieve Sustainable Development Goal eight – Decent work and economic growth.
About MTN Nigeria
MTN Nigeria is one of Africa’s largest providers of communications services, connecting over 76.5 million people in communities across the country with each other and the world. Guided by a belief that everybody deserves the benefits of a modern, connected life, MTN Nigeria’s leadership position in coverage, capacity and innovation has remained constant since its launch in 2001. MTN Nigeria is part of the MTN Group – a multinational telecommunications group, which operates in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
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