One hundred and fifty women will each receive up to N2 million-naira equipment loan grant as the first phase of MTN Foundation’s Y’elloprenuer initiative comes to a close. Two hundred female entrepreneurs will participate in a pitch competition between February 16 and 22, 2023, to qualify for the grant.
Following the pitch, the outstanding 150 female entrepreneurs with bankable business ideas will all be supported with the equipment loan at a fixed interest rate of 2.5% and a 36 – months repayment duration.
According to a recent report by PWC Nigeria, women account for 41% of the ownership of micro-businesses in Nigeria, with 23 million female entrepreneurs operating within this segment. Despite the numbers, a lot of female entrepreneur struggle to scale their businesses, due to a lack of access to start-up capital or capital for expansion and inadequate business training which creates a skills gap.
Speaking on the Y’ellopreneur programme, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya, stated that the goal of the initiative is to encourage growth and expansion of more sustainable women-led businesses. “The female unemployment rate in Nigeria is about 35.2%, despite having a high percentage of women-led businesses. The Y’ellopreneur initiative aims to equip female business owners with the required business skills and necessary funds to enable sustainable businesses led by women,” she stated.
The Y’ellopreneur initiative in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) is part of the MTN Foundation’s strategic efforts to participate in the reduction of female unemployment in Nigeria and help transform budding small businesses for Nigerian women.