Mobile Financial Services for Women in Nigeria
Our mobile financial services for women were available in Nigeria from 2014-2016.
Lack of access to financial services and capital is a significant barrier for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. With an adult population of 84.7 million (of which only 30% are banked) and with more than 159 million phone subscriptions, there is great potential for agent banking and other models which enable remote access to financial services in Nigeria. Our 2011 research, Women Entrepreneurs in Mobile Retail Channels, demonstrates that the retail channels of mobile operators provide women with rich opportunity to engage in industry and create income, and innovations such as mobile money mean that these opportunities now extend to the financial services sector.
In partnership with Visa, First Bank Nigeria and Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women provided 2,500 women entrepreneurs in Nigeria with the opportunity to become agents in the retail network of First Bank Nigeria, a leading financial services provider in the country. First Bank Nigeria provided the women entrepreneurs with training on the mobile banking products and agency business. In addition, YTF delivered capacity-building entrepreneurship training to the women.
The project was rolled-out across ten states in Nigeria and, since it launched, 1,600 women have become active Firstmonie banking agents. These women agents are, in turn, providing Nigerians living in rural and underserved areas with branchless banking and mobile financial services.
This partnership enables a greater number of women entrepreneurs to enter the rapidly growing mobile money sector, and in turn reach thousands of other women with mobile financial services.