From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The Business Resilience Assistance for Value-Adding Enterprises (BRAVE) Women Nigeria in partnership with the Bank of Industry, is set to assist over 600 women in Kano with grants to set up small scale business.
The BRAVE women announced this in Kano on Tuesday, during the launch of its promotional workshop, held at R & K Guest Palace, Kano.
They beneficiaries are being encouraged to with a target to set up small scale business enterprises that will enable them carter for the needs of their families.
The AUTHORITY reports that the BRAVE Women Project is an offspring of the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative (We-Fi) which was established by the World Bank, in collaboration with the governments of 14 countries, and is being executed in Nigeria by the Bank of Industry (BOI) on behalf of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB).
The acting Northwest Regional Manager, of BOI, Mukhtar Bawuro, in his welcome address, acknowledged the role of women in stability, progress and long-term development in economies.
According to him, “globally, women comprise about 43 percent of the world’s agricultural labour force rising to 70 percent in some countries.
“Across Africa, 80 percent of Agricultural production comes from small farmers, most of whom are rural women who also play key roles in reducing poverty.
“Unfortunately, our women do not receive as many opportunities as men. In fact women are less likely than men to have access to financial institutions. Therefore, the BRAVE Women Nigeria Project is part of BOI’s larger mandate and effort to support women-run businesses in Nigeria.”
He further stated that BOI has disbursed about N100 billion to over 1,500 women-led enterprises, apart from providing business advisory and capacity building services.
In her remarks, Project Manager for BRAVE Women Nigeria, Onyeche Agbiti Douglas, said the project, so far, is covering Kano, Gombe and Edo states, adding that there are plans to cover 36 states across the nation, including Abuja.
According to her, the general requirements for accessing grants include: ability to make matching contribution in dollars or naira and must be in operation for at least 12 months.
She added that priority sectors are in agribusiness, education, energy, healthcare and fashion and textile, of which the business must have records or register of business activities, be credit worthy and ongoing for over one year.
“Applications are opened online and information about the project can be assessed on our portal. The aim is to get 600 female-run businesses in Kanoand the objective is to improve livelihoods, reduce poverty and improve socioeconomic index of the society,” she stated.
Moreso, the Project Officer for BRAVE Women Nigeria, Ummul Kalthum Mohammed-Ali, said the benefitting women among SMEs and Lead Firms and Business Associations must come from the three focal states (Kano, Gombe, Edo) and must open account with business partners banks, including Wema Bank and Acces Bank.
She added that the women must also have 51 percent ownership of business, be a CEO, president or vice president or have 23 percent of the Board of Directors composed of women where the board exists.