The MTN Foundation, in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), has announced the official inauguration of the first phase of the Y’ellopreneur programme to support female entrepreneurs scale up their businesses.
At a media event, hosted by the Foundation, held in Lagos, the Director, MTN Foundation, Dr. Mosun Belo-Olusoga, said the Y’ellopreneur initiative was designed to build the entrepreneurial skills of 500 women, through capacity-building sessions that will run for four weeks.
According to her, the outstanding 150 entrepreneurs with recommended bankable businesses will be supported with an equipment loan of up to N2 million each at a fixed interest rate of 2.5 per cent and 36 months repayment duration. She said the programme is focused on advancing women’s development in the area of entrepreneurship through capacity building, advisory and business support services.
“This is a cause I am particularly passionate about, and I am gratified that MTN is demonstrating its continued commitment to supporting women’s development through the implementation of the Y’ellopreneur initiative.
“The initiative will contribute to reduction in female unemployment and advance our development through training designed to enhance the entrepreneurial abilities of the 500 women,” she said.
Speaking on the selection of the Y’ellopreneur participants, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya, said, “We were particular about the types of businesses that we wanted to fund. For us, it was about the real economy, and today we are training women across a range of businesses including; manufacturing, processing, Information, Communications and Technology (ICT), agriculture, waste management and recycling.
“It was also important that we had applications from women across Nigeria. We currently, have women across the country who are part of the selected participants,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, Divisional Head, SME South, BoI, Obaro Osah, said, “We understand that women are the backbone of entrepreneurship in Nigeria, and that is one of the reasons the Bank of Industry has put several initiatives in place to support women-led businesses at the same time helping them scale their business. We are excited to partner with the MTN Foundation on this initiative.”
Sanya said the Y’ellopreneur initiative, the first of its kind in furthering MTN Foundation’s strategic effort to participate in the reduction of female unemployment in Nigeria, will help transform budding small businesses for Nigerian women. It began with a call for entries on June 23, 2022, and over 42,300 women applied for the initiative of which 500 were selected to be the first set of Y’ellopreneurs.