Olushola Okunlade Writes
Nestlé Nigeria is helping more rural women in Nigeria build financial security and improve their standard of living with the launch of the fourth phase of the Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria Project in Port Harcourt recently.
An additional 50 beneficiaries from the South-South region of the country, selected from the company’s value chain, were inducted into the program at a ceremony that included several training sessions.
At the training and induction session in Port Harcourt, Nestlé Nigeria’s Commercial Manager, Mr. Khaled Ramadan said, “We are happy to fulfill our promise of expanding Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria Project to reach more women in other parts of Nigeria. We are pleased with the progress made so far by the 150 currently benefiting from the project. The beneficiaries who currently enjoy the training and mentorship provided by Nestlé and her implementation partners – FDConsults, are reporting faster turnover and increased revenue as well as stronger visibility of their outlets within their locations. We are therefore confident that these additional 50 selected retailers in South-South, will also reap the full benefits of the support we are providing through training, mentorship, and grants.”
The beneficiaries comprising female retailers in Nestlé’s value chain will receive grants valued at 300% of their monthly sales in form of Nestlé’s products. They will also participate in training and mentorship programs which will enable them to scale up their businesses, thereby increasing their household incomes.
In his remarks at the induction and training for the new beneficiaries, Mr. Phranklin Audu, Head, Partnerships & Training at FDConsults said, “The Nestlé Empowering Rural Women project is such an amazing initiative. The progress and growth recorded by the women in the several states where the project is already ongoing are quite refreshing to see. We are talking about visible growth. Grade-C retailers are moving up the distribution ladder and more importantly, these women are doing more sales turnovers thereby earning higher incomes for themselves. We must commend the visioners of this project and the entire project team for staying true to cause”.
One of the beneficiaries Mrs. Joyce Nwaiwo, expressing her gratitude to Nestlé said, “I feel so happy about this opportunity. I still cannot believe that this is true, because it is just like a dream. I want to say a big thank you to Nestlé.”
The Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria Project is designed to help rural women retailers scale up their businesses and sustain the new level of up to three times the size of their existing businesses. It is one of the Creating Shared Value initiatives that Nestlé deploys to help build thriving communities by improving livelihoods.
The training and mentorship elements of the project are provided by FDConsults who has a track record of helping rural dwellers access information and skills to improve their standard of living. Each beneficiary retailer is linked to a mentor for one-on-one guidance and consistent support over three months to ensure their success.
The project started in August 2021, in North Central Nigeria, with the induction of the first 50 women beneficiaries into the project from the suburbs of Abuja. In November of last year, the project moved to the South West and added an additional 50 beneficiaries, selected from the axis of Oshogbo, Ede, and Ilesha in Osun State. In February of this year, the South East benefited with 50 inductees from the Nsukka and Obolo-Afo axis of Enugu State.
With the additional 50 recently inducted into the project in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, 200 women have so far been reached under the program. The program aims to reach 300 women across the country before the end of 2022.