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MTN Nigeria Foundation Invests N600 Million to Empower Female Entrepreneurs

MTN Nigeria Foundation Invests N600 Million to Empower Female Entrepreneurs

The MTN Nigeria Foundation has launched the second phase of its Y’ellopreneur initiative, with an investment of N600 million. The initiative aims to address the gender inequality prevalent in Nigeria, where female unemployment stood at 35.2 percent in 2020.

The Y’ellopreneur Initiative seeks to empower female entrepreneurs across the country by providing them with capacity-building opportunities, access to loans, grants, and advisory support services. Targeting women who display passion and commitment to self-employment, the initiative focuses on businesses operating in sectors such as circular economy, manufacturing, processing, agriculture, ICT/digital services, and waste management, among others. Emphasis is placed on businesses that source their raw materials locally, contributing to the development of local economies.

Speaking at the launch of the second phase of the Y’ellopreneur initiative in Lagos, Odunayo Sanya, the Executive Director of MTN Nigeria Foundation, highlighted the role of gender inequality in perpetuating hunger and poverty. Citing a research report from the World Food Programme Gender Policy and Strategy, which estimates that 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women and girls, Sanya emphasized the importance of women’s involvement in entrepreneurship and business management as a means to provide income for their families and contribute to Nigeria’s socioeconomic development.

Aim of the MTN Y’ellopreneur Project

Aim of the MTN Y'ellowpreneur Project
Mtn Nigeria Foundation Invests N600 Million To Empower Female Entrepreneurs 11

The Y’ellopreneur initiative is aligned with the federal government’s development agenda and aims to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 17. The first phase of the initiative empowered 4,711 female entrepreneurs in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) and Mastercard Foundation. It included business pitch sessions for 200 businesses, with 101 viable businesses recommended for support. Over N94 million in equipment loans was disbursed to 50 Y’ellopreneurs, with 25 percent of the loan value refunded as a grant upon full repayment.

In the second phase of the initiative, MTN Nigeria Foundation plans to administer a 5-week online entrepreneurial skills and masterclass training for 1,000 female entrepreneurs. A total of N600 million has been allocated for this phase, with N450 million available for 150 qualified Y’ellopreneurs to access as equipment loans. Upon full repayment of the loan, N112,500,000 will be refunded as grants to the beneficiaries, further supporting their business growth and sustainability.

The initiative has received commendation from stakeholders, including Mrs. Bolaji Dada, the Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, who described it as a crucial intervention to tackle women unemployment and poverty in the state. Mrs. Aishatu Sadauki, a director at MTN Nigeria Foundation, emphasized the importance of empowering women to drive socioeconomic development. She highlighted the gender gap in entrepreneurship and stressed the need to support female entrepreneurs by providing resources to enhance their skills and enable them to thrive in their businesses.

As women constitute 50 percent of Nigeria’s population, initiatives like the Y’ellopreneur initiative play a vital role in promoting gender equality, reducing unemployment, and fostering economic growth and development. By investing in female entrepreneurs, MTN Nigeria Foundation is not only empowering women but also contributing to the overall prosperity and progress of the nation.

How to Apply for the MTN Y’ellopreneur

Application for the MTN grant project is on right now. You can apply for the MTN Y’ellopreneur program by visiting the application website here.

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Meet Past Beneficiaries of the MTN Y’ellopreneur Program

MTN Y’ellopreneur 10 Beneficiaries

Here are some of the past beneficiaries of the MTN Yellopreneur program:

  •   Amarachi Eze-Udemba, Founder, Chinnes Couture
Amarachi Eze Udemba 370x493 1 jpg REPORT AFRIQUE MTN Nigeria Foundation Invests N600 Million to Empower Female Entrepreneurs
Mtn Nigeria Foundation Invests N600 Million To Empower Female Entrepreneurs 12

Udeh Happiness Virginia, Founder Happy Cherryfoods Integrated Services

MTN Yellopreneur beneficiary
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See more beneficiaries here.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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