Making women SMEs better

A NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation (NGO) the Centre for Health Sciences Training, Research and Development (CHESTRAD) is set to train more women to make their businesses better.

Its Chairman, Dr Bimbola Ogunkelu, said the organisation is promoting this in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

He stressed that there was the need for social enterprises to raise entrepreneurs that would improve the well-being of Nigerians.

He said the group has made progress in its quest to support the government to create a marketplace that can deliver jobs for vulnerable Nigerians.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Lola Dare, said the organisation has helped a lot of women to start their businesses in the outskirt of Lagos and  effort was being made to ensure such opportunities were expanded to enable residents in rural areas, which are struggling to create job opportunities take advantage of.

She said the organisation trains women in the rural areas before encouraging them to start businesses.

She said it was vital for such support and opportunity to exist in communities for those wanting to stay in a bid to keep the area sustainable.

She said the organisation is working to provide more affordable housing, by placing home buyers at the centre of development projects.

She said the NGO wants to provide a new beginning for women and families in Lagos and other communities facing homelessness by providing affordable, long-term homes. She noted that everyone has the right to a safe and secure home and that women face the greatest disadvantage in their ability to afford one.

She added that agriculture and financial inclusion are drivers of growth and that the organisation partners the financial institutions to address the two key areas as they are intertwined to drive economic growth of the country which will be a lot more participative, broad-based and inclusive.

Although the project is kicking off in Lagos, Ibrahim Yisa, a member of the organisation, said the programme would be extended to other parts of the country, particularly the north, where indices of development are low.

The organisation is deploying cutting-edge technology to offer these services to women.

According to Kola Lasaki of Soft Alliances, a key partner of the project, the company will deploy one of their solutions called Soft Speed to offer financial services. He said: “This will take care of loans and grants to women. There is also the health- recording management solution where the health services will be rendered. We also have nutrition and academic performance monitoring to ensure that early nutrition and learning is monitored.”

To access these services across various platforms, however, will require the women to go through the registration portal where they will be given a smartcard that will contain their data.