Emily Scott, our Director of Programmes, and Rosie Greenfield, one of our Programme Officers, are just back from their trip to Lagos, Nigeria at the end of November. There they met women entrepreneurs, all of whom are either graduates or current participants of our Road to Growth programme in Nigeria or mentees who participated in the Mentoring Women in Business Programme. Some of their stories are shared with you here.
Meet Ngozi – who is scaling her nursery school with our help:
Ngozi runs a school for young children in Nigeria. When she first started our Road to Growth programme in 2016, she only had 40 pupils enrolled and operated out of a very small premises. During the programme, Ngozi said she learnt how important finances and accounting are, and commented that she finally got her books in order with the help of a consultant. Since completing our programme, Ngozi has also expanded into a new building, which can easily accommodate the 80 pupils now enrolled in her school.
With her newfound confidence, Ngozi applied for one of Access Bank’s new loans for women entrepreneurs, which she will use to build a new school with more space so she can achieve her target of enrolling another 25 new students by January 2020.
Meet Oluwatoyin – advocating so more women entrepreneurs can be successful:
Oluwatoyin is a graduate of our first Road to Growth programme in Nigeria, which ran from 2015 to 2016. She spoke to Rosie and Emily about how the programme helped her, particularly when it came to streamlining her fashion business. As a result of the course, she quickly rationalized her offer and cost base. She now focuses on designing and producing women’s clothes from a small workshop in Lekki, where her sales have increased and costs reduced.
Since our Road to Growth programme, she has since been introduced to our HerVenture app (our micro learning tool) which she LOVED. She said she would frequently listen and learn while sitting in Lagos traffic. Oluwatoyin is evangelical about the model and its content, and has told every entrepreneur she knows about it. She even loves it so much that she made a video for us!
Meet Jennifer – for whom confidence is making a world of difference:
Emily and Rosie met Jennifer, who is currently on the intensive phase of Road to Growth 2019. She is a qualified pharmacist who has been running her own pharmacy for 18 months. Jennifer was so scared of failure that she didn’t tell many people about her new pharmacy business, choosing not to throw an opening party or link her own name with her business on social media.
Through our Road to Growth programme, and the business lessons and networking opportunities we offer, she has finally found confidence in her business skills. As a result, she is now planning a party for the pharmacy’s two year anniversary. She also has the confidence to delegate her workload and has a better work/life balance, making her happier and less stressed.