The Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Bolaji Dada, has disclosed that over 30,000 women are being trained annually in the five divisions of Lagos State on various skills at its 18 Vocational Centres.
The Commissioner, who disclosed this on Thursday during the virtual unveiling of the EBI Market initiative, stated that all training programmes offered at the 18 Skills Acquisition Centres are free, noting that over 30,000 women have already benefitted from the programmes.
While highlighting some of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to small business owners, Dada explained that most graduates of the centres are given start-up packs, upon completion of their training, to immediately kick-start their choice of trade.
She, however, noted that as small scale investors, there are often challenges of sustenance, hence the EBI Market-Place puts them on an e-commerce platform to make their business sustainable and of international standard.
Mrs. Dada reiterated that the Lagos State Government would not relent in embarking on developmental partnerships with NGOs, Public and Private Organisations targeted at women emancipation and children development across the State.
In her remarks, the initiator of the platform and Chief Executive Officer, SME–NG, Barrister Thelma Ekiyor, informed that following research during the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown and restrictions, many upcoming businesses suffered severely from poor returns due to the fact that business processes thrive through daily and weekly sales.
She said, “Most businesses run through weekly or daily returns for sustainability. Even after the lockdown, such businesses are still struggling because they were not digitally equipped for the continuous trading process at that time. This EBI market-place proffers access to finance, as a means of strengthening the economic system. The platform makes it possible for growing investors to do their transactions online, irrespective of their economic or educational standard. All that matters is that they are registered under the platform for loan, training and advertisement”.
Ekiyor stated further that “This capability positions women investments to be more stable and proficient, using the platform as a refresher training session to groom and expand their knowledge in their chosen fields”.
Earlier in her address, the Minister for Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, who virtually unveiled the platform, implored women to tap into the capacity-building venture by navigating the online business platform, which serves to upscale, advertise and boost their investments.
The EBI marketplace is a collaborative business strategy geared towards ensuring stable market opportunities and access to/pay-off loans obtained by female entrepreneurs across the nation.