The Y’ellopreneur program for female entrepreneurs in Nigeria has officially begun its first phase thanks to cooperation between the MTN Foundation, the Bank of Industry, and the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC). The news was made at a media event given by the Foundation on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, at the MTN Nigeria Head Office in Falomo, Ikoyi.
The Y’ellopreneur program aims to help 500 women develop their entrepreneurial abilities through four-week capacity-building sessions. With a fixed interest rate of 2.5% and a 36-month repayment period, the outstanding 150 entrepreneurs with bankable firms will receive support in the form of equipment loans of up to N2 million apiece. Through capacity building, advising, and business support services, the initiative seeks to advance women’s development as entrepreneurs.
Dr Mosun Belo-Olusoga, Director of the MTN Foundation, made the opening statement at the media event, highlighting the effect the Y’ellopreneur program will have on women-owned businesses in Nigeria. “This is a matter that really interests me, and I appreciate MTN’s continuous dedication to advancing women’s advancement by putting the Y’ellopreneur project into action.
Through training intended to improve the entrepreneurial ability of the 500 women, the program will help lower the rate of female unemployment and accelerate our growth, she stated.
Speaking on the selection of the Y’ellopreneur participants, Executive Secretary of MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya said, “We were particular about the types of business 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, ICT, agriculture, waste management and recycling.
“It was also important that we had applications from women across Nigeria and 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, Bank of Industry, 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.”
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.