HomeGender InclusionHow Nestle Nigeria Is Empowering The Rural Nigerian Woman For Emancipation

How Nestle Nigeria Is Empowering The Rural Nigerian Woman For Emancipation

Nestlé Nigeria inducts more women into empowerment project -
By Jeremiaha Agada

The glamour for gender equality is of global concern and is contained in the Global Goal 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015. The official wording of SDG 5 is “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. SDG 5 has nine targets and 14 indicators. Six of the targets are “outcome-oriented”: ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere; ending violence and exploitation of women and girls; eliminating harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation; increasing value of unpaid care and promoting shared domestic responsibilities; ensuring full participation of women in leadership and decision-making; and ensuring access to universal reproductive rights and health.

Certainly, there has been some progress in achieving gender equality, but the original aim of the day- to achieve full gender equality for women across the globe in all human endeavours- has not been accomplished. Statistics from the World Economic Forum show that, based on current realities, it will take 168 years to bridge the gender gap. This prediction has been widely used as a shock therapy to push governments, NGOs, associations, investors and companies into action.

But the process is on to close that gap as many women across the globe are overcoming the barriers to their dreams. Interestingly, investing in the economic empowerment of women drives growth for their families, communities and local markets. Studies show that women will reinvest up to 90 percent of income in their families and communities, compared to 40 percent for men. And according to McKinsey, advancing women’s equality – including economic participation – could add $12 trillion to global growth by 2025.

Indeed, women have stepped-up to this challenge with courage and honesty, learning and adapting in a rapidly evolving situation, pulling their weights in their spaces and on the international scene, crashing down glass ceilings with complete abandon. Dr. Ngozi Ezekwesili became the first woman and African to head the World Trade Organisation as Director-General. Amanda Gorman, a young 22-year-old became the first poet to speak at a US Presidential inauguration, using her beautiful words to inspire people around the world. Whitney Wolfe Herd became the youngest self-made billionaire and youngest female CEO to ever take a company public. And Dr. Özlem Türeci, together with her husband, is the brains behind the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

The opportunity presented by women’s empowerment is exactly why there has been an upsurge in the number of companies investing in it. Of course, “women’s empowerment” is a broad topic, one that invites many approaches and varies greatly from culture to culture and from organisation to organisation. Leveraging partnerships, story-telling, female-centric(bespoke) initiatives, financial inclusion, empowerment initiatives among others, these organisations, especially in the Nigerian markets together form a strong vanguard of empowerment, emancipation and inclusion for the Nigerian woman.

One of such organisations is Nestlé Nigeria. Focusing on disadvantaged women and as part of its continuous effort in empowering rural women across the nation, it inducted more than 50 women into the Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project, aimed at helping rural women retailers within the company’s value chain scale up their businesses to increase their household incomes.

Nestle Nigeria Empowers 50 Women in Osun, Ekiti | Business Post Nigeria
The newly inducted women from the South-South region of the country were selected from the company’s value chain. The 50 women were in addition to 150, making a total of 200 rural women that have benefitted from the training which aimed at helping women in Nigeria build financial security and improve their standard of living.

The beneficiaries of “Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project” receive grants by way of Nestlé products valued at 300 percent of their current monthly sales. They also participate in training and mentorship programs which equip them with the requisite skills to scale up and sustain their businesses. These programs are delivered by the implementation partner, FDConsults which also works with each retailer over 3 months post training to help them succeed. Each beneficiary retailer is linked to a one-on-one mentor for guidance and consistent support.

Speaking at the induction which was the fourth phase of the Nestlé empowering project, Nestlé Nigeria’s Commercial Manager, Khaled Ramadan said: “We are happy to fulfil our promise of expanding Nestlé empowering rural women in Nigeria project to reach more women in other parts of Nigeria.

“We are pleased with the progress made so far by the 150 currently benefiting from the project. The beneficiaries who currently enjoy the training and mentorship provided by Nestlé and her implementation partners – FDConsults, are reporting faster turnover and increased revenue as well as stronger visibility of their outlets within their locations.

“We are therefore confident that these additional 50 selected retailers in South-South, will also reap the full benefits of the support we are providing through training, mentorship and grants.

“The beneficiaries comprising female retailers in Nestlé’s value chain will receive grants valued at 300 percent of their monthly sales in form of Nestlé’s products.
“They will also participate in training and mentorship programmes which will enable them scale up their businesses, thereby increasing their household incomes.”
In his remarks at the induction and training for the new beneficiaries, head, partnerships and training at FDConsults, Phranklin Audu, described the Nestlé empowerment project as an amazing initiative. According to him, the progress and growth recorded by the women in the several states where the project is already ongoing is quite refreshing to see.

In his words: “Grade-c retailers are moving up the distribution ladder and more importantly these women are doing more sales turnovers thereby earning higher incomes for themselves. “We must commend the visioners of this project and the entire project team for staying true to cause.”

The Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria Project is designed to help rural women retailers scale up their businesses and sustain the new level of up to three times the size of their existing businesses.

“Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project” is designed to equip female distributors at the end of the pyramid to scale up to three times the size of their existing business over 3 months and to sustain the new level.

According to the Commercial Manager for Nestlé Nigeria, Mr. Khaled Ramadan, Nestlé’s contributions to empowering women within her value chain, “At Nestlé, we believe that by contributing to the health and wellbeing of our communities, we create shared value for all stakeholders while contributing to the growth of our business.
“Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project” is our way of improving the livelihoods of women in the rural areas by helping them scale their businesses to three times its current volume within three months. Our ambition is to empower 300 of these women who are retailers within our distribution channel.”

“We have received very positive feedback from the first 100 beneficiaries of the program who are based in the suburbs of Abuja and Osogbo. They are reporting faster turnover and increased revenue as well as stronger visibility of their business outlets within their locations. We are therefore confident that our intervention through training, mentorship and product grants are a right mix for success.

The first phase of “Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project” which was launched in the suburbs of the Federal Capital Territory in August 2021 reached 50 beneficiaries while the second phase launched in Osogbo in October 2021 added 50 more women to the program. With this launch in Enugu State, the program now includes 150 beneficiaries, halfway to the target the company set for the initiative.
The Nestlé Empowering Rural Women in Nigeria project is one of the Company’s Creating Shared Value (CSV) initiatives to contribute towards building thriving communities by improving livelihoods.

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