Ogun state government has restated the commitment of the present administration to ensuring women entrepreneurs in the state have access to opportunities for empowerment.
Wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, restated this at the event held to commemorate the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, 2020 and presentation of N26million interest free loan cheques to 11 beneficiaries of FCMB SheVentures Women in Business Team, in the state at the Conference Hotel and Suites, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
Abiodun said it was necessary for government and corporate bodies to assist the women folk by extending efforts to empower, celebrate and support them in the society for more economic vibrant families and society at large.
She said, “when we reflect on the mandate of Women’s entrepreneurship day, we are reminded that the educated women are a powerful force for change, that is why I am a strong proponent of girl child empowerment because the long term gains for our societies are worth the investment.
The first lady disclosed that her office received correspondence from the SheVentures team in January, 2020, explaining the vision behind the initiative which was to empower women in business in Ogun .
She noted that this would help open women entrepreneurs up to potential opportunities around them.
“In January this year, I received some correspondence from the team, explaining the vision behind SHE-VENTURES. It was a simple vision to empower women in business in Ogun state.
“The initiative was their response to growing calls to support women owned enterprises through financial and non- financial means, that can open them up to potential opportunities around them.
“My main attraction to SheVentures is the incredibly important component that they sought to accomplish with their women trainees. That component is FINANCIAL EDUCATION. As I noted in January, many of the financial empowerment programs that exist for women today are not very successful because of the missing ingredient of financial education.
“Usually, the easy part is gathering women together and giving them a little amount to support their small businesses. What we have noted over time, however, is that many of them are back to square one needing help because they were never trained on how to handle money.
“Therefore, financial literacy is what actualizes the full value of any financial endowment. And that is what SheVentures has done in the past few months.” She added.
The governor’s wife appreciated FCMB SheVentures team for supporting Ogun state government and advised the beneficiaries to put the loan to judicious use.
Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe, Former Ogun state Deputy Governor, Alhaja Salmot Badru, Former, Speaker, OGHA, Rt. Hon. Titi Oseni and Ms. Bukola Onabanjo in their goodwill messages, unanimously enjoined the beneficiaries to invest loans wisely so as to be qualified for more after their repayment tenure.
The Executive Director, Business Development, FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith in her address, acknowledged the role of Mrs. Abiodun in empowering women in the state promising that the bank would continue to be supportive of her office and the women folk in the state.
She stated that FCMB recognized the role of women as entrepreneurs, nation builders and catalysts to sustainable development.
Mrs. Smith explained that the initiative was to give special attention to women entrepreneurs for easier access to finance, capacity building and building networks which according to her would in turn bring about job creation and poverty reduction in the society.
She disclosed that out of over twenty women that were qualified, only eleven met the laid down criteria for the free interest loan, promising to help in giving one digit interest loans to more qualified women entrepreneurs in the state.