Leading Ladies Africa, Union Bank Empower Female Entrepreneurs

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A leading female empowerment group, Leading Ladies Africa, in collaboration with Union Bank Plc has empowered 40 female-owned enterprises as part of efforts to support businesses and economic activities.

The empowerment scheme themed, “Enterprise and Leadership Programme,” was initiated to provide start-ups from the various sectors of the economy with the support needed to develop and sustain their enterprises.

The Founder, Leading Ladies Africa, Francesca Uriri, while speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, yesterday, said the numbers of female entrepreneurs who signed up for the programme initially were about 2,000. This, she said was an indication that a lot of women entrepreneurs needed capacity building.

Uriri, pointed out that whilst capital was important for the sustainable development of every business, it was not more important than having a proper business structure coupled with the right management skill.

She explained, “The idea behind the Enterprise and Leadership Programme is to provide the structure needed for female-owned businesses.

“The female entrepreneurs have been lectured on subjects such as, finance, accounting, business modelling, branding and strategies. We have been able to operate this capacity building programme in conjunction with the China-Europe Business School, which has an international faculty, because for us it was important to bring the synergy between those people that have the experience of growing businesses to empower these entrepreneurs with the right tools they need to operate a successful business.

“We are working towards creating a ripple effect in these enterprises because the knowledge shared and gained would be effective towards boosting the social economy of the country as a whole.

“Since the entries for SMEs opened up in July and the mentorship classes began in August the feedbacks we have received from the participants have been amazing which is something we are proud of as the final classes would take place this weekend.”

On her part, the Chief Digital and innovation Officer, Union Bank, Lola Cardoso, said the initiative which was supported by bank, was in continuous effort to empower female entrepreneurs in the country as well as increase financial inclusion whilst developing the county’s economy.

“Supporting the empowerment classes for the 40 women- owned enterprises is a sign of our commitment to supporting SMEs as well as women that are pursuing the sustainable economic growth of women in Nigeria,” she added.