WIMBIZ (Women in Management, Business and Public Service) is poised to elevate the status and influence of women and their contribution to nation building.
In fulfilment of this mandate, the organisation has over the years created and implemented programmes, events and activities to inspire and empower women. The success of these programmes and events as well as the resulting impact on Nigerian women would not have been possible without the contribution of sponsors and donors, hence the need for the annual sponsors’ cocktail that took place recently in Lagos.
WIMBIZ, a Nigeria-based non-profit organisation, was formed in 2001 by 14 individuals with an overriding vision “to be the catalyst that elevates the status and influence of women and their contribution to nation building”. Its programmes are geared towards increasing the success rate of female entrepreneurs and the proportion of women in senior positions in corporate organisations. It is also a volunteer-based organisation, funded largely by donations and contributions by members and participants.
From light snacks to fresh fruit juice to pina colada, just name it, they were all available at the cocktail – with everyone at the event gaily dressed, exchanging pleasantries with each other, enjoying lovely music and catching up.
It wasn’t planned to be a long programme. So in little or no time the event kick-started with a welcome speech and introduction by the executive director of WIMBIZ, Mosun Layode, after which the chairperson, Osayi Alile, gave her opening remarks.
“We are grateful to God for seeing us through 2013 and we appreciate him for what he has in store for us in 2014. I feel honoured and humbled to chair this organisation I have always remained committed to, an organisation with the mission to inspire and empower women with high potential to attain leadership in business, management and public service,” Alile said in her remarks.
“We called this meeting to appreciate our sponsors and partners even as we look forward to better relationship in 2014 and beyond,” she added.
The entertaining and inspiring rendition by Zara left all in awe of the diva who sang beautifully.
Next to speak was Wale Goodluck, corporate services executive, MTN Nigeria. Speaking on the topic ‘Doing well and doing good: A strategic approach to philanthropy’, Goodluck said: “Our CSR involvement is about private initiative for public good and supporting the less privileged. We are present in twenty-four countries in Africa and the Middle East. We believe we can only thrive if our community thrives. For our CSR involvement, profit after tax every year must go to CSR. Adding value is a significant part of our corporate social investment.”
Julia Oku Jacks, a member of WIMBIZ board of trustees, who spoke next, expressed her gratitude to all present, saying that their presence at the event, notwithstanding their busy schedules, showed their commitment to the WIMBIZ vision.
“WIMBIZ encourages leadership capacities. We have grown stronger in reach and commitment. We have impacted over 11,000 women who are aspiring to be greater in life. 4,500 women will be reached this year,” she said.
“We are glad to have inspired university graduates, entrepreneurs, women in private and public sectors and more who have broken through the glass ceiling. We want to thank all partners and sponsors who have assisted to make this happen even as we call for your continued support and investment in women,” she added.
After the speeches, it was time to engage in networking and, of course, dance to appealing music played by the DJ.
The objectives of WIMBIZ include:
• To educate and challenge women to maximise their potential and rise up to the work/life challenges that they will face
• Elevate and ensure the attraction and retention of women in the workplace
• To create a platform/opportunities for networking and building value-added business relationships
• To build a sustainable support infrastructure for mentoring, career and business guidance and facilitation
• Assist the needy and perform charitable functions
• Foster the interaction between women corporate executives and entrepreneur.
By: KEMI AJUMOBI