NGO Partners SMEDAN, Access Bank on Women Empowerment

NGO Partners SMEDAN, Access Bank on Women Empowerment

Ladi Patrick-Okwoli

A non-governmental organization, Mother of Models is partnering with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDAN, and Access Bank in training and aiding women access to soft loans in Nigeria

The programme which is part of a reality show tagged “40 and Fabulous” which is currently ongoing is geared towards empowering women who are 40 and above to contribute their own quota to national development.

Addressing a Press Conference over the weekend, the CEO of Mother of Models, Jolly Nnenna Abani said the reality show became important as part of the drive to bridge gender parity in economic and national development.

According to her, “We know that most empowerment programmes today is targeted at young people aged 18-35, forgetting people from 40 and above, as such the reality show which has 10 women is geared towards improving their skills and  talents and also empower afterwards.

“This is why we partnered with SMEDAN which has trained in Enterpreneurship and also we had Access Bank who has assured of Support for them in terms of soft loans. Also studio 24 has trained them for photography among others.

“Subsequently, as they come out from the show which will last 60days, they should be equipped with the necessary skills needed in fashion design, photography, and others, that way they can also open their businesses and become employers of labour,” she explained 

Abani added the Show which is the first of it’s kind is generally targeted at taking women off the streets and helping them to achieve their desired dreams notwithstanding their ages.

Abani said her organisation in collaboration with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency(SMEDAN), has been developing the entrepreneurial capacities of selected women, who would be assisted with soft loans to set up small businesses after their 60 day training.

She disclosed that Access Bank had also pledged to support these beneficiaries with credit facilities.

According to her, “Access Bank made a promise that after the training and documentation, the women would be assisted with small loans.

“Access bank came to train them on how to do business, how to access credit facilities and money management.

“They were also trained on emotional intelligence.

Abani explained that her organisation has been engaged in “taking the women off-the-street,”particularly vulnerable and abandoned women in society.

Going down memory lane, she said the vision for the establishment of 40 and Fabulous Naija was conceived in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that some of the women who are beneficiaries of the programme have been “used, abused, dumped and rejected.”

According to her, the programme was aimed at restoring the dignity of womanhood as well as assist women who are multi-tasking in their activities.

“We are re-branding, stabilising and empowering women. We are contributing to national development,” she said.

She further said her organisation is offering hope to women, particularly, women who are 40 years and above.

Also speaking, Mr.Kennedy Aja, Director of Mother of Models International Limited, observed that the journey has been a tough one, noting that some of the beneficiaries who had earlier given up in life, have been re-oriented to believe they can succeed in life.

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