In a bid to accelerate the economic inclusion of women in Nigeria, the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd., has partnered with Karis & Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation to train 1,000 women on viable entrepreneurial skills across 8 states of the federation.
The first set of beneficiaries numbering 200 have been trained in Lagos, with seven other states set to benefit from the initiative.
The intervention, tagged #NBCEmpowerHer, is being implemented under the Company’s recent one million euros donation to support communities through social impact programs.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the program in Lagos, Ekuma Eze, corporate affairs & sustainability director at NBC, reiterated the company’s commitment to promoting the economic empowerment of women in Nigeria.
“We owe our success story to Nigeria, which is the birthplace of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and, more specifically, to the women who represent a sizeable chunk of our distribution network. We recognize that women are the pillars that hold every community together, and empowering them is central to every sustainable society,” he said.
Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Ekuma added: “After over 70 years of refreshing Nigeria, we considered it expedient to give back to our communities as a celebration of our shared heritage. This initiative is one of the several interventions we are implementing across Nigeria, around key focus areas, including Youth and Women Empowerment, Recycling, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.”
Speaking earlier on the initiative, Bukola Bamiduro, Executive Director of Karis & Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, said: “Many women in our communities are largely marginalized. Karis & Eleos was founded because we believe that by training women, we can make a difference in our communities. We are grateful to have partners like NBC who believe in us and our vision to improve the lives of women and make them bankable.”
Through the partnership, the #NBCEmpowerHer initiative would reach 1,000 women across eight states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Oyo, Kano, Rivers, Imo, Borno, Edo and the Federal Capital Territory.
Women of all ages have been trained in vocational skills including baking, makeup, shoe making, amongst others. They have also been exposed to relevant business management tools, including how to promote their enterprises on social media, and basic bookkeeping.
At the closing ceremony, which held in Lagos, beneficiaries were provided with startup kits for their businesses.
In addition, NBC supported 25 beneficiaries to join the Company’s network of retailers and further assisted them with opportunities to access seed capital.
Commending NBC on the initiative, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the First Lady of Lagos State, who was represented by Odumbaku Abimbola, the wife of Ojodu Local Government Chairman, stated that the Company’s effort will go a long way in alleviating poverty and boosting the local economy through the empowerment of SMEs.
#NBCEmpowerHer is a women empowerment intervention funded by NBC under its one million euros donation to support social impact programs in Nigeria.
It is implemented by Karis & Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation and is targeted at empowering vulnerable women across 8 states with relevant skills to drive economic inclusion of women.