One of Nigeria’s top financial institutions, Fidelity Bank, has teamed up with ImpactHER to help 1,052 female entrepreneurs in all 36 states of the country overcome the obstacles women experience in running their small and medium-sized businesses.
Beneficiaries from the two cohorts have been able to raise sales by improving the exposure of their companies through broad training in digital skills and direct business support.
The program, which started in January 2022, included two cohorts that each lasted for four weeks and covered a wide range of topics, including digital marketing, brand development, and online sales, among others. The participants received help listing their companies on Google Maps so that clients and the worldwide market might find them and do business with them.
Commenting on the partnership, Osita Ede, Divisional Head, Product Development at Fidelity Bank Plc said, “It has become imperative that female entrepreneurs in Africa are empowered to overcome the lack of digital literacy which impedes them from fully reaping the benefits of the digital transformation underway across Africa, and the world. We believe providing them this access will help them to thrive in their different businesses.”
According to Efe Ukala, Founder of ImpactHER, “Statistically, women and girls are 25 per cent less likely to leverage digital technology for basic purposes, 4 times less likely to know how to programme computers and 13 times less likely to file for technology patents. This therefore highlights the importance of equipping African women with digital skills that could be leveraged to scale their businesses. Let’s not forget that data shows that Africa can add $180 billion to its GDP by 2025 if we close the e-commerce digital gap.”
The World Bank confirms through data gathered in ten African countries that on average, male-owned companies have six times more capital than female-owned companies, despite the fact that the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor for 2019/2020 highlighted that millions of women worldwide have started businesses over the last five years alone. The highest percentage of these women live in Africa, with approximately 26% of female adults engaging in entrepreneurial activity.