AXA Mansard Empowers Female  SMEs with Financial, Digital Skills

Ebere Nwoji

AXA Mansard, a member of AXA has empowered 200 female Small and Medium Enterprises with financial literacy and digital business skills. 

 In collaboration with SME 100 Africa, the two-day training, which was held in Lagos, is part of AXA’s lined-up programmes to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day. 

Speaking, Head of Marketing AXA Mansard, Olusesan Ogunyooye,  said the training was aimed to empower female SME owners with skills to improve business output and position them for the increasing economic opportunities available in an increasingly digital marketplace. 

Ogunyooye noted that the move was in line with AXA Mansard’s sustainability agenda, explaining that the company was  convinced that support for women through its inclusive protection programmes was pivotal to its purpose of acting for human progress by protecting what matters and its mission of moving from being a payer to a partner. 

  He further said that focusing on digital skills was important because the company realised  the importance of digital skills to the growth of the SME sector in Nigeria and wants 

Wanted to ensure that women were  empowered enough to be a consequential part of that growth.

 “It’s almost trite to say that SMEs are the engine for economic growth, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, where over 45 million adults are business owners. What needs to be continually discussed is how Nigeria is going to unlock that potential for economic development and how much of that potential will be unlocked by women and for women.”

 “For us at AXA Mansard, we are aware that digital will play a major role in unlocking these current opportunities and Nigeria’s economic future. So, to ensure that women are equally represented in unlocking these future potentials, that’s why we have collaborated with SME 100 Africa to support them in developing the required skills”. 

“Our choice of digital and financial literacy skills is deliberate. We understand the power of the duo. We understand that helping these SMEs with the skills to attract more customers will be a faster means to empower them. We see that they have amazing products and services, but they need to understand how to attract value for themselves by attracting the right customers, and you will agree with me that virtually all customer segments are online in one way or another today. So, if we can empower them with digital business skills, we would have helped them with the heavy lifting of trying to find and attract customers”. Ogunyooye explained.  

According to him, AXA Mansard believes that for the world to experience progress truly, there must be an equitable distribution of creation and access to opportunities for men and women. This quest for balance informed the SHE for Shield initiative, a women-centred inclusive protection programme of AXA Mansard.

SHE for Shield is a group of initiatives designed for the Nigerian woman. The goal is to see them grow, add value, and help them mitigate risks at every step. 

According to the company, research has found that access to health care is one of the most important things to Nigerian women, regardless of their economic segment. They desire to be financially independent, secure, and respected in the community.

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