Fidelity Bank, a leading financial institution in Nigeria, has collaborated with ImpactHER to support 1,052 female entrepreneurs across the 36 states of Nigeria in addressing the challenges they face in their small and medium-sized businesses. Through diverse training on digital skills and direct business support, beneficiaries from two cohorts have been able to improve visibility for their businesses and consequently, increase sales.
The training, which commenced in January 2022, has had two cohorts that lasted for four weeks each, covering a myriad of topics such as Digital marketing, building your brand and selling online, etc. The participants were also assisted in putting their businesses on Google Maps, thus allowing customers and the global market to easily find and transact business with them.
Commenting on the partnership, Osita Ede, Divisional Head, Product Development at Fidelity Bank Plc said, “It has become imperative that female entrepreneurs in Africa are empowered to overcome the lack of digital literacy which impedes them from fully reaping the benefits of the digital transformation underway across Africa, and the world. We believe providing them this access will help them to thrive in their different businesses.”
According to Efe Ukala, Founder of ImpactHER, “Statistically, women and girls are 25 per cent less likely to leverage digital technology for basic purposes, 4 times less likely to know how to programme computers and 13 times less likely to file for technology patents. This therefore highlights the importance of equipping African women with digital skills that could be leveraged to scale their businesses. Let’s not forget that data shows that Africa can add $180 billion to its GDP by 2025 if we close the e-commerce digital gap.”
This intervention is critical as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor for 2019/2020 highlighted that millions of women worldwide have started businesses over the last five years alone: the highest percentage of these women live in Africa, with approximately 26 per cent of female adults engaged in entrepreneurial activity yet the World Bank confirms through data collected in ten African countries that on average, male-owned companies have six times more capital than female owned enterprises, resulting in monthly profits of female-owned enterprises that are, on average, 38 per cent lower than male-owned businesses.