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Women In Africa and The Coca-Cola Foundation join forces to empower 20,000 women over three years through the “JAMII Femmes” initiative

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...Programme will focus on women with innovative solutions for sustainable development
 

WOMEN in Africa announces the launch of “JAMII Femmes” a programme to enhance the impact of 20,000 women entrepreneurs from 10 African countries. Over three years, participants will be supported through online training, networking, mentorship and local bootcamps. The programme seeks innovative solutions to bring positive changes in Africa by improving the quality of life for thousands of people.

“Our aim is to give African women access to resources and to champions that can set them up for success,” said Hafsat Abiola, President of Women In Africa. “This programme will impact 20,000 and indirectly impact over 60,000 persons. Opening up pathways to their success is the key to Africa’s rise.”

According to Patricia Obozuwa, Vice President Africa for Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at Coca-Cola, “The initiative will boost business creation opportunities by improving access to vocational training, networks, finance and markets.”

In its first year, the programme aims to support women entrepreneurs based in 3 countries: Ivory Coast, Kenya and Nigeria. The call for applications was launched on March 31st 2022 in Nigeria and Ivory Coast on the WIA website and starts today, on April 14th 2022 in Kenya.

The entrepreneurial potential of Kenyan women is present but suffers from the same obstacles, as evidenced by figures from a study conducted in the country by the AfDB and the International Labour Organization (ILO): women-owned businesses represent 48% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Within the SME sector, only 1.5% of businesses have ever received a loan from a commercial bank. Access to credit and financing is a real challenge for the growth of women-owned businesses.

Access to training could also allow them to initiate this change of scale in two ways; one allowing them to formalize their economic structure by creating their own business in the agricultural sector where they are mostly active and the other allowing them to diversify their activities by moving into other promising sectors.

To strengthen this dynamic and meet the growing and pressing demand across the African continent, 7,000 impactful women entrepreneurs will be selected in 3 countries, among them Kenya, to take part in an online training programme from August to November 2022. These sessions, conducted by WIA’s knowledge partner and Africa's first and largest network of private higher education institutions, Honoris United Universities, will equip women to take a principled approach to design creative ideas, and gain knowledge on leadership and managerial skills. From this pool of women, more than 600 entrepreneurs will receive grants to support their business development and increase their impact on communities. In January 2023, 70 selected beneficiaries will benefit from a 2-week accelerator programme.

They will receive a comprehensive support package as well as mentoring sessions with experts. At the end of the programme, one laureate from each country will receive a $10,000 prize to support their project. By addressing the key gaps faced by women entrepreneurs in Africa at such a large scale, this programme is a game-changer for the continent.

For more than a decade, The Coca-Cola Foundation has supported programs across the world empowering women to thrive.

“We are committed to preparing women for professional jobs or to launch and grow their own businesses”, said Saadia Madsbjerg, President of The Coca-Cola Foundation. ”The “JAMII Femmes” initiative will have a profound impact throughout the continent of Africa by supporting women through education, financial literacy, entrepreneurial training and mentorship. It addresses those known barriers preventing women entrepreneurs from succeeding in the marketplace.”

AI.

Apr. 14, 2022 @ 10:12 GMT

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