The MTN Foundation on Tuesday said it had entered into a partnership with Mastercard Foundation and Exponential Consulting Ltd. to train 20,000 women entrepreneurs.
The Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms Odunayo Sanya, said in her keynote address at an event to sign the partnership agreement on Tuesday in Lagos that the goal of the Foundation was to empower women to contribute to the growth of the economy.
Sanya said the collaboration would reduce unemployment within the ranks of women through investment in enterprises promoted by them, thereby leading to sustainable socio economic development of Nigeria.
According to her, everything that MTN does aligns with the Sustainable Development Goal.
‘’Earlier, 500 women were trained, they had gone deep into the training and did ask if it was possible to open up the training for all those who had applied because even though they had not finished they were already seeing changes in their businesses.
‘’The trainees were applying what was learnt and things changed in their businesses and so MTN Foundation commenced talk with Exponential Consulting, and now Mastercard is also on board and fulfilling our pledge of serving the community.
‘’We are not just talking about training the 20,000 women but also empowering them through loans of two per cent interest, not grants. When the loan is paid, the recipient gets 25 per cent of the money,” Sanya said.
According to her, the foundation from inception to date has been able to carry out the empowerment programme in collaboration with partners and customers.
Sanya said the foundation was solely funded by MTN Nigeria up to one per cent of the company’s profit after tax.
She said every recharge card bought, every call that made, every website visited by the customer contributed to the funds available to the Foundation.
The executive secretary said it was a wonderful experience to partner with Exponential Consulting and Mastercard Foundation, and that at the end of the four-week training, the beneficiaries would have bankable business plans.
The executive Secretary highlighted other interventions of MTN Foundation as 12,736 scholarships to 4,590 students, 500 female entrepreneurs and 182 pitchers equipment loan where 101 benefited.
She said the other intervention was the Phase Three of the Yello doctors medical outreach through which 52,507 people in 629 communities were impacted, making a total of 663,912 lives impacted across 1,089 communities from inception.
She appreciated Mastercard Foundation and Exponential Consulting Ltd. for the partnership.
Mrs Nneka Umeh, Director, Mastercard, said collaboration was important as it strengthened organisations and promoted growth. (NAN)