• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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MTNF to invest N600m to equip women entrepreneurs

MTNF to invest N600m to equip women entrepreneurs

MTN Foundation is set to invest N600 million in phase two of its Y’ellopreneur initiative to help bridge the capacity gap for women-owned businesses in Nigeria.

The Foundation will give N450 million to 150 qualified Y’ellopreneur as equipment loans, accounting for N3, 000 for each of the qualified women entrepreneurs.

Also, upon the repayment of the loan, the sum of N112.5 million would be refunded as grants to the Y’ellopreneur, which account for 25 percent of the loans being given back as grant to the recipients.

Read also: MTN Foundation launches ‘Y’ellopreneur’ to deepen intervention for female entrepreneurs

Calls for application officially open on Tuesday March 5, 2024, and are expected to run for four weeks.

Odunayo Sanya, executive secretary, MTN Foundation, said that Y’ellopreneur starts with a capacity-building initiative for women-owned businesses that have been operational for at least two years with the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan-Atlantic University. “Capacity gap is the biggest for women entrepreneurs.”

According to her, the Y’ellopreneur initiative is a catalyst for economic development, and disclosed that every woman who applies ends up with a bankable business plan.

She also disclosed that the loan is a sustainability strategy for MTN with a 2.5 interest rate for recipients and six-month moratorium. “For us at the Foundation; we will continue to invest to move Nigeria forward,” Sanya said.

Bolaji Cecilia Dada, Commissioner for women affairs and poverty alleviation, said that the state is open to partnering with the private sector on women empowerment with about 20 skills acquisition centres across Lagos. According to her, over 21,000 students have graduated from the school since 2019.

“We are very happy to partner with MTN and hope that most of the recipients from phase two will be from Lagos State,” Dada said.

Thelma Ekiyor-Solanke, country chairperson, National Philanthropic Office (NPO) and impact investing, said that the government plays an important role in deepening the entrepreneur ecosystem in Nigeria. According to her, the NPO will provide access to private sector organisations to deepen the entrepreneur space in Nigeria.