By Jacinta Nwachukwu
Nestle Nigeria Plc., on Friday inaugurated a project aimed at empowering rural women in Nigeria to scale up their retail businesses through training, mentorship and grants with Nestle products.
Mr Khaled Ramadan, Nestle Nigeria’s Commercial Manager, at the event in Abuja, said the project would make significant contributions to the wellbeing of the 50 retailers selected in the first phase.
Ramadan explained that the 50 selected female retailers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were already having a business relationship with the company.
According to him, in the first phase of the project titled “Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria” the company would provide three times the monthly turnover of each of the 50 selected female retailers in form of Nestlé products.
“We are confident that the support we will be providing through training, mentorship and grants will go a long way toward helping them improve their standards of living by increasing their sales outputs.
“We are excited to see the start of the implementation of this first phase of the project and look forward to the eventual scale up to reach more women across Nigeria,” he said.
He said the company would be targeting 300 women retailers of Nestle products across the country in its second phase of the project.
Ramada said that training would be provided by the company’s implementation partners with a track record of helping rural dwellers access information and skills to improve their standards of living.
“In addition, the retailers will be linked to one on one mentor for additional guidance and consistent support to ensure their success,’’ he said.
Similarly, Mrs Victoria Uwadoka of the Corporate Communications Nestle, explained that the rural traders would undergo a period of business coaching and mentoring to help them strengthen their business process in a bid to scale their businesses.
Uwadoka said “Nestle Nigeria’s expectation is that the business owners will leverage the improvement to better their standards of living, including food, shelter and the education of their children.’’
She said that the programme was structured in a way that the beneficiaries would only remit 20 per cent of the total sales of Nestle products to the company after three months.
Mr Phranklin Audu, Lead Trainer said, “for Nestle, the overarching goal was to ensure that these 50 selected participants were able to triple their income and ultimately improve their livelihoods.’’
On behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Clementina Irandi, appreciated the company for selecting the women to participate in the empowerment programme.
“The free goods and training we received today will be particularly helpful in taking our businesses to the next level.
“We commend Nestle for such a laudable project and hope the project is sustained and replicated across other states and regions of the country,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the women were selected from three area districts in Abuja- Kubwa, Nyanya and Gwagwalada.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)