CITIZENS COMPASS —A woman retailer in Sagamu, Ogun State, Aminat Kolawole is one of the 332 women across the country, that were supported by Nestlé Nigeria to scale up their businesses through the Nestlé Rural Women empowerment Program.
Aminat, an indigene of Batoro community in the State tate, has been running a small business for eight years in Sagamu, where she sells food and beverages, toiletries, drinks, house-hold consumables among others.
She is excited that her business, Idera Oluwa stores, was selected for the project. “I believe that this opportunity will provide the necessary knowledge and resources to grow my business so I can earn more money to support my family and cater for my children’s education”.
Since August 2021, Nestlé Nigeria has helped 332 women to scale up their businesses by 300% and to sustain the new level through the Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria Project.
The beneficiaries are women within Nestlé Nigeria’s value chain, running small businesses in rural areas across Nigeria.
Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria by helping them build financial security to improve their livelihoods is one of the ways through which Nestlé Nigeria is Creating Shared Value along its value chain.
The program was established to help beneficiaries scale up their businesses and sustain the new level of up to three times the size of their existing businesses.
This objective is achieved through business training covering merchandizing, book-keeping and customer service, mentorship and coaching in addition to grants in form of Nestlé products valued at 300% of their monthly sales at the time of joining the program.
The beneficiaries are subsequently registered in a three -month mentorship program and each woman is linked to a personal mentor for one-on-one coaching to ensure adoption of the key learnings from the training received to achieve the desired success.
Over 60% of the beneficiaries achieve the 300% target growth within the 3-month coaching period!
Speaking at the inauguration of the 7th batch into the Project in Sagamu, Nestlé Nigeria’s Commercial Manager, Khaled Ramadan, said “Creating shared value within our communities is core in the way we do business. At Nestlé, we strive to make positive impact on society while ensuring the sustainability of our business. The Rural Women Empowerment Program is not a one-time event but an ongoing process of value creation.
The stories and testimonials from previous beneficiaries, particularly 100% to 200%
business growth within three months of joining the program, encourages us to do more.
Onboarding women from Sagamu, one of our host communities, is a significant milestone in our commitment to empowerment and sustainable development and we are proud to have an opportunity to make a tangible difference in their lives”.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Phranklin Audu, Lead Facilitator & Head, Strategic Partnerships at FDConsults, implementation partner of Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria Project, said, “We have amazing testimonials from previous beneficiaries.
Through this project, Nestlé continues to help solve the challenge of poverty by empowering rural women across Nigerian communities, lifting them off the poverty. spectrum and improving their livelihoods. We are delighted to be project partners for the training and mentoring on this credible initiative”.
According to Kabiyesi Odofin Soyindo who represented the Akarigbo of Remoland, HRM Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, “I commend Nestlé for this sustainable venture and empowerment of Sagamu women. This is a noble initiative, and we are glad that our community is benefitting from corporate programs like this from Nestlé.
To the beneficiaries, I urge you to establish your priorities and judiciously use the grants provided to you for the expansion of your businesses”.
Expressing her delight on behalf of other beneficiaries, Aminat said, “We are greatly pleased at the opportunity to be included in this program. We are looking forward to the learning and mentoring sessions which will equip us to run our businesses more effectively. A big thank you to Nestlé for investing in us. Our promise to the company is that we will maximize this opportunity for the benefit of our families and communities”.
For Folasade Ogunjimi of Save Way Stores Sagamu, another beneficiary of the program, “This is the first time a company is bringing this amazing initiative to retailers in Sagamu in my 25 years of running this business. We sincerely appreciate this well planned and considerate gesture by Nestlé towards supporting and expanding our businesses”.
Community leaders, including the Vice Chairman of Sagamu Local Government Area and executive members of the Royal Initiative for the Development of Sagamu Community, RIDSCO, also attended the event.
Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria Project began in August 2021, with 50 female retailers from the suburbs of Abuja. Currently, 332 women from the South-East, North-East, South-South and South-West regions of the country are benefitting from the program. Over 80% of the beneficiaries have seen their incomes grow and can support their families better.
Through the program, Nestlé is helping rural women in Nigeria build financial security to improve their standard of living.
Cross section of female retailers from Sagamu