A Nollywood Star, Ini Edo, has shared her life story with a group of female entrepreneurs on how to turn passion into profit after which they were empowered with seed capital.
Speaking recently on the Becoming TV Series in a TV-styled pitch competition and roundtable, the movie star and entrepreneur gave an exposition relaying her early beginnings and experience aimed at giving hope to the girl child in her own way through her pet-project, the GEMS AFRICA FOUNDATION
She noted that with women comprising nearly half of the global population, their engagement and empowerment were therefore, vital to achieving sustainable development.
According to her; “Recognising the immense potential and contributions that women can make, promoting women development has become a pressing priority for governments, organisations, and societies worldwide.”
Edo had maintained that when women are economically empowered, they become active contributors to their communities’ growth and prosperity.
“Access to education and skills training enables women to enter the workforce, leading to increased income levels and economic independence. Moreover, studies indicate that when women have control over financial resources, they tend to invest in sectors that benefit their households, such as healthcare, education, and nutrition, thus creating a multiplier effect for development.”
In the area of education and knowledge acquisition, she posited that investing in women’s education and knowledge is a powerful tool for promoting development.
“Providing girls with quality education not only equip them with valuable skills but also results in positive societal changes. Educated women tend to have fewer children, higher earning potential, and better health outcomes. Additionally, educated women are more likely to participate in decision-making processes and actively contribute to social and political development.
“Therefore, as part of our vision to empower women for economic development, our focus at GEMS Africa this year is on capacity building trainings, grant facilitation and equipment financing for 500 African women in technology, agriculture, creative industry, and digital skills and basic business education training for women led businesses. Our MSMEs are the fulcrum and lifeblood of our society and our women are capable of driving positive change in any field of endeavour . In affiliation with Becoming TV series, we have launched out on the first batch of 50 of the series of empowering 500 African female entrepreneurs who will access seed funding and equipment financing this January. By supporting these women-led businesses, we are not only empowering individual entrepreneurs but also strengthening the economy of Africa.
“I invite you all as partners , join us on this journey of empowerment. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of African women, creating opportunities for personal growth, economic stability, and long-term prosperity. By investing in women development, we are investing in the future of Africa and the immense potential of African women for sustainable change. Together, we can build a brighter and more inclusive future.
“Clearly, by empowering women economically, expanding access to education and knowledge, ensuring health and well-being, promoting women’s leadership, and eradicating gender-based violence, we create an environment that nurtures women’s talents and potential. The impact of empowering women extends far beyond individuals; it positively transforms communities and societies as a whole. It is crucial for governments, organisations, and individuals to actively work towards an inclusive and gender-equal world, as the progress of women is intrinsically linked to the progress of humanity.”
Sharing their thoughts and also contributing to the discourse, William Anwana, CEO of HaJem Consults said:
‘This event was a mind-opener, revealing the depth of passion and creativity embedded in the African female population’, while Meflyn Anwana on her part submitted that every child, every female should be given access to a blend of quality education and entrepreneurialism pointing out that they should never be denied such rights.
“Every Child, every woman deserves a right to quality education and without a shadow of doubt incorporating entrepreneurialism provides them with a valuable tool for their journey through life, as it fosters an entrepreneurial mindset, creativity and innovation entrepreneurship that encourages one to think outside the box, explore new ideas, and find innovative solutions to problems. Thus, empowering them to become self-starters, problem solvers , proactive, self-reliant, financially literate, resilience, anti-fragile, independent and can adapt and thrive in an ever-changing world.”
Also contributing, the Group Manager, Marketing and Communications of Ibom Air, Annie Essienette, Special Assistant to Governor Umo Eno on Media, Aniefiok MacauLey, the Akwa Ibom State Coordinator of SMEDAN, Lucy Ekpenyong, an ICT Expert, Hanson Johnson and Josephine Bassey shared insights on Breaking Barriers, Building Brand Equity and Digital Skills for Women as well as Opportunities made available by the Federal Government, Google, facebook, and several others.
High point of the empowerment programme was the presentation of seed funding to support the first batch winners of the pitch deck. The 1st batch of beneficiaries include, Utibe Akwa, Joy Ennang, Bascilin CEO, Ini Ubong Umoren and Effiong Utibe Edet.
GEMS Africa is Building young women across Africa, empowering and promoting the African girl child development and sustainability, thereby increasing gender mainstreaming in all parts and communities of African countries and the world at large.