A non-governmental organisation, Finishers Initiative for Social Transformation (FIST Africa), has empowered some Nigerian women with small business grants. The Women Empowerment Programme is part of its social and community service initiatives that focus on providing interventions for underserved communities.
The small business grant of N100,000 each, which was presented on Sunday to 8 out of 10 expected beneficiaries, started with business profiling and a training session on February 19, to equip the women with basic business skills that would help them start, sustain and scale up their small businesses.
In his welcome address at the training on Saturday, the Executive Director of FIST Africa, Frederick Adetiba, said that the organisation has been providing interventions for underserved communities in the form of food items, hygiene materials and medical supplies since it was founded in 2019. The new Women Empowerment Programme is to provide a more sustainable intervention in those communities because according to him, “When you empower a woman, you empower a household. And when you empower women, you empower a community”.
The lead facilitator at the training, Imade Osuobeni, took the women through the rudiments of starting and sustaining small businesses. The women were encouraged to see their business as babies that must be kept alive and properly cared for.
Most of the women raised concerns that their husbands might want to collect the money and use it for other purposes. In his response, Toni Falade, the project manager, said it is best for the women not to mix their business money with their personal money. He informed them that a separate bank account will be opened for them. He also assured them that the team would continue to monitor and support their progress.
Before the training ended, FIST Africa assisted the women in opening separate bank accounts with Zenith Bank, which the organisation sees as a way of promoting and facilitating financial inclusion among women in Nigeria, in addition to helping the women separate their personal money from their business capital.
At the end of the training, the women also went home with food items for them and their households, as well as sanitary wares for their own use.
FIST Africa, which is the social arm of The Finishing Church, has engaged in numerous projects such as medical outreach for internally displaced persons, welfare outreach to various communities, including a recent distribution of food items to about 4,000 people at Gishiri community in Abuja in partnership with other organisations.
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