As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the Development Bank of Nigeria Plc (DBN) has empowered over 200 women with entrepreneurial development skills in Gombe and Yobe States.
The programme which is in partnership with the Organisation for Environmental, Agricultural and Health Development (OEAHD) is aimed at providing soft skill acquisition for selected women, including physically challenged women in the North-Eastern part of the country.
Addressing participants at the entrepreneurial skills acquisition training and capacity building event, Tabitha Iliya Sallah, the national coordinator, OEAHD, re-emphasized the significant roles women play in the socio-economic development of the nation.
According to her, “the importance of women’s participation in entrepreneurship cannot be overstated. It is not just about fostering gender equality, but also about tapping into the full potential of our nation’s human resources. As entrepreneurs, women have the power to innovate, create jobs, and drive economic growth, because when women are economically empowered, their communities and the nation at large benefit.
“The fact that this program has been made possible through the collaboration of OEAHD and DBN is a testament to our collaborative commitment and dedication to women’s economic empowerment across regions; especially displaced women.”
Commending DBN for sustaining its long-term vision of alleviating financing constraints faced by MSMEs and Small Corporations in Nigeria, Sallah noted that by providing training, mentorship, and access to finance, the bank is creating a nurturing environment for women to thrive in the business world, hereby bridging the gender gap and promoting sustainable economic development.
“DBN as we all know has been at the forefront of empowering women in business with unlimited access to finance and knowledge to prosper and build viable enterprises that will enable them to improve their livelihoods and contribute to the socio-economic development of their immediate families and communities” She posited.
The Organization for Agriculture and Health Development (OEAHD) is an NGO that is passionate about assisting the less privileged and vulnerable, particularly women and children and internally displaced persons etc regardless of race, colour, gender, social status, political affiliations in Nigeria. While the OEAHD have carried out several humanitarian services in the Northeastern part of the country, their operation is Nationwide with regional offices in Abuja and Gombe. The organization’s major service areas cover – Agriculture, Health and, Education.
In his remarks, Tony Okpanachi, Managing Director of DBN, affirmed that the training was in line with the bank’s unwavering commitment to strengthening the capacity of MSMEs in the country so that they could continue to contribute more to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We believe that this partnership with OEAHD and by extension the entrepreneurial and capacity development initiative will have a significant impact on the lives of the targeted women in Gombe and Yobe State respectively, fostering their empowerment and contributing to sustainable development in the region.
“Up to date, about 62 per cent of our lending has gone to women-owned businesses. Most of them are Micro and Small Businesses. Our goal is to continue to nurture and empower women across regions, the ultimate objective being to grow and upscale them from micro to large businesses.” he said.
He further stated that the women have received comprehensive vocational skills training that will enable them to start their businesses or enhance existing ones, thereby improving their economic well-being.