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Home » SARA/WEMA collaborate with Mastercard Foundation, EDC to empower Nigerian youths

SARA/WEMA collaborate with Mastercard Foundation, EDC to empower Nigerian youths

The Transforming Nigerian Youth Programme by SARA/WEMA in collaboration with Mastercard Foundation and EDC (The Entrepreneurship Center of the Pan -Atlantic University) is creating a significant impact on the Nigerian youths by providing them with opportunities for skill acquisition, awareness, and financial support.

OBJECTIVE

The programme’s primary objective is to equip Nigerian youths, particularly females, with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the job market and contribute to the country’s economic development.

By offering training, mentorship, and capacity-building initiatives to empower young entrepreneurs between the age of 18years and 35years, the programme seeks to address youths’ unemployment and underemployment challenges, empowering young individuals to become self-reliant and productive members of society. The programme kicked off with over 30,000 registrations within the first week of call for entries.

IMPACT

Through collaboration with Mastercard Foundation and EDC, the programme leverages shared expertise, resources, and networks to expand its reach and effectiveness. Participants without a registered business name will get free CAC registration through EDC, they will also be assigned to certified BDSP trainers/consultants by SMEDAN (Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agencies of Nigeria) mentorship and business advisory. SARA/WEMA bank will also be awarding N500,000 grant each to 20 successful female participants.

This partnership also aligns with the SARAprenuer Accelerator Programme which aims at offering the following:

1. Workshops and boot camps

2. Business support

3. Business solution

4. Access to finance

5. Access to market

By combining skill acquisition, awareness, mentorship, and financial support, the ‘Transforming Nigerian Youth Programme’ strives to create an enabling environment where Nigerian youths can unlock their potential, pursue meaningful career paths, and make a positive contribution to the country’s social and economic development.

Additionally, the programme aims to promote gender equality and empower young women to overcome barriers and achieve their goals, ultimately fostering inclusive growth and empowerment in Nigeria.

We profiled and interviewed 6 out of the selected winners who participated in the programme.

Read also: NDDC presses harder on creating 9,000 jobs, trains 185 youths to promote scheme

YETUNDE ABDULSALAM, CEO, Roycouture

YETUNDE ABDULSALAM

Yetunde is 27 years old. Born and bred in Ibadan, Oyo state, she is the second child from a family of six and the only daughter.

She graduated from the Oke Ogun Polytechnic, Ibadan where she obtained her National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Public Administration.

ROYCOUTURE

Roycouture started as a mere hobby back in 2014 when Yetunde was in school. At the time, she found so much joy in making her own outfits instead of buying as she couldn’t afford to get expensive ones. Her friends in school saw what she was capable of and started giving her their clothes to make something nice for them too, and before she knew it, it shifted from an ‘ordinary hobby’ to passionately wanting to make something unique. Yetunde was doing it for free, putting herself out there, but as time went by, she found clarity and knew in her heart that this was it for her.

After her National Diploma in 2016, she channeled all of her energy into building a brand for herself, enrolled for further trainings both online and on site.

Through her small business, she has been able to cater for more than 1000 women over the years, bringing their fashion dream to reality. She has also imparted knowledge to both young and old women and helped them stand on their own feet as she believes women are capable of making impact in the society.

How did you hear about the programme and why the decision to apply?

A friend sent me the link on Instagram and asked me to apply. I have never benefited from such programmes but this time, I had a feeling this one would yield success and I didn’t hold back.

Checking the track record of how WEMA Bank has been a major player in the success of many small businesses, I believe that my time had come to be a beneficiary too and it came. I am here and glad.

How does it feel being selected? In what way is it going to positively impact you and your business?

It feels so unreal and exciting at the same time to be selected. For my fashion brand, this programme is definitely going to be a game changer as plans are already being made and can actively be put into motion. Personally, this programme is going to make me challenge myself more, and I will not stop as long as it has to do with growth.

What role do you plan to play for the success of your involvement in the programme?

For a successful involvement in the programme, I will make myself available for any sensitisation, outreach, workshop or seminar organised by WEMA Bank and also actively publicise the good work so that others can benefit.

What do have to say to WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC?

I would like to say a very big thank you to WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) for this huge opportunity given to me and my fashion brand. I promise to make judicious use of it and also be a catalyst of change for other women around me.

ESTHER AKANBI
ESTHER AKANBI, CEO, God’s Will Enterprise

ESTHER AKANBI

Esther is from Ogun state. She attended Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-ode and obtained a B.ED in Childhood, Christian Religious Studies. She has been a class teacher and subject teacher from 2022-till date.

God’s Will Enterprise

It all began when she was in school (undergraduate) as a student with a little token that could barely sustain for a month not to talk of a whole semester. She began to look around her school environment and thought of what service she could offer to her colleagues at school that would be giving her income to sustain herself. However, she discovered that most of the students could not endure sitting for long to prepare food for themselves. Then the thought of producing beans powder came to mind, and she started with one small paint bucket of beans from 200level (2013), and from that time, she started engaging herself on how to improve her product, added other things and remained relevant beyond her school.

Interestingly, from there, she began to ruminate about the name to give her product, and after thinking of several names, she came up with ‘God’s Will Enterprise’ and from then till now, she is able to sell this product in various places she finds herself.

More so, she has grown her business by adding other products such as chin-chin, peanut and fruit juice. They are also into cake making, small chops and others. They later came up with packaging of the products in different sizes both in nylon and plastics.

The pandemic came and left. It hit her business to zero level, she needed to start all over again because she could not give up, and through it all, ‘God’s Will Enterprise’ is still standing.

Her vision is to grow her business to reach every nook and cranny of Nigeria, Africa and beyond, to remain at the top at all times and to be the best among her market competitors.

Read also: FG partners Wema Bank to lift 2m youths, 1m MSMEs

How did you hear about the programme and why the decision to apply?

I heard about the programme through my husband. I chose to apply for this programme because it is what I have been looking for and also to support my business.

How does it feel being selected? In what way is it going to positively impact you and your business?

I feel great and full of joy in my heart for being selected. It gives my vision strength, and it will connect me to more knowledge that is trending in the business space even globally. It will promote my business plan.

What role do you plan to play for the success of your involvement in the programme?

I will be a great ambassador for the organisers of this programme, and I will continue recommending WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation, EDC to other people who are aspiring to do well in their business.

What do have to say to WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC?

I want to say thank you to them for this special and rare opportunity given to me.

MOSUNMOLA BANKOLE

MOSUNMOLA BANKOLE, CEO, Msnclothing & Fashion AccessoriesMOSUNMOLA BANKOLE

Mosunmola Bankole is from Ikare Akoko Ondo state Nigeria and has a B.A in Philosophy from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo state.

She started her fashion business, Msnclothing & Fashion Accessories in 2020. She makes clothes for both male and female, and in the year 2021, she added fashion accessories and perfume oil to her business, and as the sales kept increasing, she realized she had the passion for embellishments. She went ahead to learn beading and started stones, beads and applique embellishments. In February 2022, she registered her business ‘Msnclothing and Fashion Accessories.’

Mosunmola has over 40 clients in both Nigeria and in the diaspora.

How did you hear about the programme and why the decision to apply?

I heard from someone I regard as my true friend on Instagram.

How does it feel being selected? In what way is it going to positively impact you and your business?

I feel great and excited knowing it will be of positive impact to me and my business in terms of growth and development. It will showcase my business to the world and make it known to a very large extent. I believe it will also boost my sales and customer base.

What role do you plan to play for the success of your involvement in the programme?

I plan to play a vital role, take charge of my business like never before, put all I have learnt into practice, and ensure both my business and I experience new turnaround.

What do have to say to WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC?

Thank you for giving me the privilege to learn, unlearn and relearn, thank you for impacting me and please don’t stop, so others can also be partakers of such a great opportunity.

RUKAYYA IBRAHIM
RUKAYYA IBRAHIM, CEO, La Roselle Nectar Limited

RUKAYYA IBRAHIM

Rukayya Ibrahim is from Kaduna state, and she is the CEO of La Roselle Nectar Limited.

She has a BSc in Computer Science (Second Class Upper Division), and an M.Sc in Computer Science.

LA ROSELLE NECTAR LIMITED

La Roselle is derived from the French word ‘La’ meaning ‘The’ and Roselle is the English name for Zobo. La Roselle Nectar Limited is a company that produces natural products from hibiscus leaves. She officially launched her first product, La Roselle Zobo drink in October, 2022. La Roselle Zobo drink is a NAFDAC certified natural zobo drink made from fresh fruits, vegetables and spices, and does not contain artificial flavours or preservatives.

PRODUCTION CAPACITY & CUSTOMERS

Rukayya has a daily production capacity of 300 bottles as she currently distributes in bulk to 12 popular supermarkets in Kaduna state.

REVENUE

Since she officially started the production and distribution of La Roselle Zobo drink in October 2022, her average sales per month is N650,000. Rukayya looks forward to improving her production capacity as that is the major challenge she faces in the business.

GOALS

To create a connection with her customers and become top of mind for people who want to enjoy healthy and delicious plant-based diet. Rukayya wants La Roselle Zobo drink to be in almost every household and supermarket in Nigeria.

How did you hear about the programme and why the decision to apply?

I heard about the programme from Naijabrandchick on Instagram. I decided to apply because I needed the grant and I wanted to gain more knowledge on how to grow my brand and manage it properly.

How does it feel being selected? In what way is it going to positively impact you and your business?

I feel so excited and fulfilled being selected to benefit from this programme. It’s going to build my confidence and I believe it’s going to create more awareness for my brand and attract investors.

What role do you plan to play for the success of your involvement in the programme?

I plan to implement all I have learnt into my business to improve my business processes and revenue growth. I also plan to spread the goodness of WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC to business owners and individuals who plan to start a business.

What do have to say to WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC?

I want to say thank you to WEMA Bank, Mastercard and EDC for building my confidence. I have learnt a lot from the programme. I can grow my business to an unbelievable level. Thank you WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC for the support you give to business owners.

Read also: Toba Subair joins ForbesBLK to empower black businesses

SAKINAH BELLO
SAKINAH BELLO, CEO, Berriepearl Enterprise

SAKINAH BELLO

Sakinah Bello is the CEO of Berriepearl Enterprise. She comes from a family of six, two girls and four boys. Born in Libya, she is of a multicultural background with mother from Ewe tribe, Togo and father from Yoruba tribe, Osun state, Nigeria. She reads, speaks and writes English, Ewe, Yoruba, Arabic and basic French.

She has a Diploma in Natural Reproductive and Infertility Medicine, 2023 from The Open International College of Naturopathic Medicine, Lagos state.

She also has a Bachelor of Technology in Industrial Chemistry from Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria state.

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

Being business-oriented has often been part of Sakinah’s upbringing from assisting her mother in her business, Mama Mia enterprise, going to wholesalers at Trade Fair and Balogun market to purchase goods for her shop, attending to customers, keeping up-to-date inventory, aligning stocks and sales and so much more, it was a great experience for her. She strengthened her understanding of business management and equipped her intellect on being a founder.

On the quest for incorporating natural lifestyle and sustaining the environment, she birthed her skincare company, Berriepearl Enterprise in 2016, an indigenous and eco-friendly afrocentric lifestyle brand into production of premium, natural shea-butter, Nigerian black soap and pure palm kernel oil (Hot-pressed and cold-pressed).

Sakinah has always loved and wanted a garden for the love of growth and bloom, eventually, that passion got ignited when she commenced her farming business, coined the name after her maternal grandparents, Mawusi Mawuli Hevi Farms in 2020, an indigenous agricultural and agro-processing company, mainly into crop farming, bee farming and post-harvest production of premium dehydrated farm produce, intended to provide an alternative to fresh produce which would increase food availability, increase shelf life of food and agro products to reduce post-harvest losses and enhance food security.

This further promotes sustainable agriculture, retains quality and appealing taste, increases value addition, eliminates hunger, reduces food waste and spoilage, increases the availability of nutritious convenient food for communities and improves farmer’s income and livelihoods.

Sakinah’s business has been able to achieve series of milestones, from acquiring acres of land and implementation of idea diversification, to incorporation of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals into their business operation to achieve prosperity.

How did you hear about the programme and why the decision to apply?

I heard about the programme from an advertisement on Instagram by an influencing page, Naijabrandchick and also received a mail from WEMA Bank about the programme. As a solution driven person, I decided to apply to aid learning for my business growth.

How does it feel being selected? In what way is it going to positively impact you and your business?

I was utterly astonished and honoured to be among the selected few. It would positively be impactful on me to position myself as a thoughtful and insightful leader, and also create potential opportunities and growth for my business.

What role do you plan to play for the success of your involvement in the programme?

I intend to be proactive, committed and make meaningful contributions to potential areas needed.

What do have to say to WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC?

I am immensely grateful to all of you (WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC) for your collaboration in bringing to life this awesome change-making programme, and also to have been selected among many, I feel deeply esteemed and humbled to have been recognised.

ZAINAB MUSA
ZAINAB MUSA, CEO, Zims Collections Limited

ZAINAB IBRAHIM MUSA

Zainab is from Maiduguri, Borno state. She is married and blessed with three wonderful daughters.

Her educational journey began at Elkanemi College of Islamic Theology, where she honed her knowledge. Later, she pursued a B.Sc Fisheries at the University of Maiduguri, earning valuable certifications along the way.

In her career, she has had the privilege to work with various organisations, offering mentorship to emerging entrepreneurs. From 2018 to 2022, she mentored five promising start-ups, contributing to their growth andsuccess.

Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to establish a business specialising in traditional incense, perfumes, spa products, and Arabian natural deodorants. This venture, founded in 2019 after seven years of research and a lifetime of exposure to scent craftsmanship through her mother, has achieved significant milestones.

Their brand is proudly trademarked and copyrighted, reflecting their commitment to unique and long-lasting products suitable for offices, homes, hotels, mosques, and churches alike.

How did you hear about the programme and why the decision to apply?

I first learnt about the programme through Naijabrandchick. Our number 1 ‘Lolo’ of Instagram. She has been an inspiration to small businesses, despite the lack of awareness about grant programmes here in the north, and the mentality that northerners don’t always seem to win such grants. I am able to prove it wrong. It’s all about dedication and determination.

How does it feel being selected? In what way is it going to positively impact you and your business?

Being selected is an incredible honour and validation of the hard work I’ve put into my business. It would provide me with invaluable mentorship, resources and networking opportunities which I believe will lead to significant growth and positive impact on both my self and my business.

What role do you plan to play for the success of your involvement in the programme?

I plan to actively engage with the programme’s curriculum, mentors and fellow participants. My goal is to contribute my unique insights and experiences, foster collaboration and support the success of my peers. By doing so, I aim to maximise the collective benefits of this programme.

What do have to say to WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC?

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to WEMA Bank, Mastercard Foundation and EDC for their unwavering support and belief in aspiring entrepreneurs like myself.

Your commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and economic development is truly commendable. I am excited to make the most of this opportunity and pledge to work diligently towards the goals and values you stand for.


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