Foundation empowers women with micro grants

Foundation empowers women with micro grants

One thousand community women have each received micro grants worth fifty thousand naira (N50, 000.

00) only to establish petty businesses as a means to boost their standard of living.

An organisation known as the Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation, AEF, in collaboration with the Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative, CROWEI, disbursed the funds to the women at a brief ceremony in Ikom town, which is the headquarters of Ikom local government area of Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.

Before distributing the grants to the women, the foundation conducted a two-week simplified business development training across the 196 wards in Cross River.

Creating sustainable micro-economies
The Initiator of the Foundation, Mr.

Asuquo Ekpenyong said the project was created to support women across the state experiencing harsh economic challenges due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ekpenyong explained to the wife of the governor of Cross River State, Dr.

Linda Ayade, who was special guest at the ceremony, that the essence of the entire exercise was to enable the women commence, develop and sustain their micro businesses.

He said, “a wise man taught me that we do not give because we have enough, we give because we care enough.

We must find ways to alleviate the suffering of our people.

I am convinced that one of the ways to do this is through supporting our women.

“In my experience, people do not want to be given fish.

They want to be taught how to fish.

They want to be given the tools to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

Therefore, it is highly imperative that businesses become more sustainable as well as scalable in order to drive growth in the local economy,” he said.

“At the height of the lockdown in 2020, CROWEI was very instrumental in alleviating the hardships women faced across the state.

Then, the Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation also supported the State Government with a donation of N25 million in cash besides donating medical supplies to assist in its welfare interventions.

“Today, we go a step further.

The AEF has trained 1,000 women on financial management to enable them access loans and grow their businesses.

We carefully selected those women, who are resident and doing business across the 196 administrative wards of Cross River to ensure that we develop a model case,” he said.

Ekpenyong further stated, “In all, I am very excited to begin 2022 on this note.

Our disbursement partner is Ekondo Microfinance Bank.

‘Ekondo’ is the Efik word for ‘Universe’.

Women make up more than half of our universe.

If they do not prosper, we cannot thrive.

Boosting women’s productivity
Two of the beneficiaries, Mrs.

Nkoyo Okon from Akparabong Ward and Miss Favour Ushie from Bekwara expressed gratitude to the Foundation and CROWEI for the grants, which would enable the revival of their businesses affected during the COVID-19 lockdown.

In a brief remark, Dr.

Linda Ayade commended the AEF for the training and support of women in business management to boost their productivity.

She promised, “CROWEI will continue to stand firm with women in all their endeavors.

We urge more women to take advantage of opportunities like this to reposition their businesses to grow the local economy.

Dominica Nwabufo
Foundation empowers women with micro grants

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