NGO empowers 30, pays school bills for single ladies

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The Independent Woman Initiative, an NGO, has empowered 30 women in Lagos with funds and training to start catering, tailoring, makeup artistry and some other businesses to facilitate their financial independence.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the women – married and single – received amounts ranging from N30,000 to N100,000, depending on the type of business they intend to embark on.

The President of the NGO, Mrs Monique Ededuan, said at the empowerment programme on Sunday that the gesture would also enable the women to contribute to economic growth.

According to her, the 30 beneficiaries presented convincing business ideas and qualified for the empowerment.

“The Independent Woman Initiative is all about stirring women up and teaching them from experiences and stories of other women to encourage their ideas.

“It was established out of the desire to address the challenges that women have to deal with due to lack of funds.

“Today, about 300 women are in attendance at this conference and 30 women will be supported with startup funds,’’ she said.

Ededuan said that the NGO also had another empowerment programme known as `She Learns’.

“It is in two categories.

“The first one is for single ladies who want to further their education but lack funding; the other one is scholarship acquisition programme,” she said.

The NGO president said that no fewer than 20 single ladies had benefitted from the first category, adding that under the category, the organisation took responsibility of the education of single ladies who desired to further their education but lacked funding.

According to her, under the second category, the NGO provided vocational training for women who did not want to go back to school.

She urged women to become agents of change by conceiving ideas and turning them into realities.

“There is no excuse to be idle; start with something little; with dedication, that business might become a global reference.

“An empowered woman becomes a positive tool and an inspiration to others,’’ she said.

Mrs Nneka Elege, a member of the organisation’s board of directors, said that women empowerment was an important tool for national development.

“When you empower a woman, you empower a nation and even a generation because everything given to a woman is turned around and well utilised.

“This programme is to empower women to use what they have such as knowledge, skills and talents, and also to put them to best use,’’ she said.

Mrs Teju Abisoye, Programme Coordinator, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, said that it was necessary for women to know the importance of access to finance in building a business.

“The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund is here to support every small business with finance, training and support services that can help the business to grow.

“We are keen to see businesses grow in this economy,” she said.

According to Abisoye, the Fund can support any genuine business by a Lagos State resident.

“We want people who have tax payers’ identity because we are giving people tax payers’ money.

“We want to ensure that they have contributed at one point or will be contributing to tax payment; these are the criteria for accessing the loan,’’ she said.

She noted that access to loan for businesses would help women to be economically independent.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NGO, established in 2016, has the vision to support women with startup business funds and ideas to enable them to support their homes and the society. (NAN)