In a continuation of its support to small businesses and women entrepreneurs, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth has awarded a grant to The Omaness Skinfood Company in Nigeria.
The West African skincare company is a social impact enterprise which aims to foster economic prosperity for women and communities in Nigeria. It produces a line of high-quality, skin-enriching body care products using natural ingredients that are primarily sourced from Nigeria.
According to a statement, by scaling its Skinfood Merchant Program through a seed funding grant from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Omaness hopes to empower 10,000 women entrepreneurs to run their own skinfood merchant business by 2025.
Mastercard’s support is expected to provide skinfood merchants with micro-inventory credits, marketing support and business development training, enabling them to start a profitable business, alongside opportunities to sell more, earn more, scale faster and ultimately benefit from a sustainable income.
“Mastercard is a longstanding supporter of small businesses and women entrepreneurs. We also passionately believe in building a better and more equal world where everyone can reach their potential, by recognizing the contributions of women. Partnering for good is what we do best and this collaboration is one more way we enable sustainable, inclusive growth that will not only benefit the new merchants, but their families and communities too,” the Director Middle East and Africa at Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Natasha Jamal said.
Women-owned and led businesses are catalysts for economic growth, improving the lives of everyone, everywhere. According to the benchmark indication of the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2019, women business owners as a percentage of total business owners is 25.3% in Nigeria. The index also measured a narrowing gender gap in Nigeria, suggesting women in the country are just as inclined as men to engage in entrepreneurship.
“Omaness proudly engages women to distribute natural indigenous produce – adding value to the wellbeing of end-consumers and unlocking opportunities for women to prosper through their networks. We are honored to partner with Mastercard, an innovator that cares deeply about enabling women to build communities where everyone can flourish,” the CEO and Founder of The Omaness Skinfood Company, Ifeoma Adibe-Chukwuka said.
While operating its one-of-its-kind social business model which controls the value chain from sourcing down to the last mile of distribution, Omaness focuses on creating and connecting women to income-generating opportunities across its value chain including supply, production and distribution of skin food products.
The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth works with grantees around the world to help address the challenges facing micro and small businesses, including providing access to capacity building and capital.
Earlier this year, Mastercard expanded its worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring a total of one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. As part of this effort, there will be a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.