Ogun First Lady, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, FCMB roll out interest-free loans to empower Ogun business women

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… Beneficiaries get N5 million each

To commemorate the Women Entrepreneurship Day in the state ,Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, wife of Ogun State governor, has reiterated her commitment towards the empowerment of women in the state.

Mrs. Abiodun stated this at the presentation of cheques of interest – free Credit facilities to 15 beneficiaries organised by her office in collaboration with SheVentures, a financial unit of the FCMB for Women Entrepreneurs in the state at the Conference Hotel , Abeokuta.

Mrs. Abiodun appreciated FCMB SheVentures for partnering with her office by providing the beneficiaries with free loan facilities and necessary knowledge on how to pay back the money in their various businesses.

In her address, the Executive Director, Business Development, FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith, said the aim of the programme was to avail the beneficiaries of three pillars of successful business, which she listed as access to loan, access to information and access to network.

She promised to empower more women in the state, explaining that zero interest loans would also be extended to more qualified beneficiaries who meet up with terms and conditions.

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Mrs Abiodun added “As we commemorate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day today, it is instructive for us because we are exposed to the many more ways we can extend our efforts to empower, celebrate, and support women in our societies.

” When we reflect on the mandate of Women’s entrepreneurship day, we are reminded that the sustainability of any enterprise is driven by constant learning and development.

“Educated women are a powerful force for change that is why I am a strong proponent of girl child empowerment because the long-term gains for our societies are worth the investment”

According to her “reports indicate that women have a 97% repayment rate for micro-loans making them the ideal candidates for supporting SMEs.

She explained that the program started in January this year, she received some correspondence from the team, explaining the vision behind SHE-VENTURES.

“It was a simple vision to empower women in business in Ogun State. The initiative was their response to growing calls to support women-owned enterprises through financial and non-financial means, that can open them up to potential opportunities around them. We of course immediately agreed to partner, seeing as it tied into the work we were already doing for women in our state.

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She noted that, many of the financial empowerment programs that exist for women are not very successful because of the missing ingredient of financial education.

” What we have noted over time, however, is that many of them are back to square one needing help because they were never trained on how to handle money. Therefore, financial literacy is what actualizes the full value of any financial endowment. And that is what SHE-VENTURES has done in the past few months.

“The result of this painstaking effort was this: of the long list of women who attended the capacity building program, several eligible women business owners applied for the zero-interest loans.

Reputable guests like Mrs Oluomo, Wife of Ogun State House of Assembly Speaker, Mrs Kikelomo Alonge, Commissioner Trade and Investment , Mrs Bukola Onabanjo, Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Hon Sikirat Ajibola, Chairman, House committee on women, Mrs Ronke Soyombo, Special Adviser on Education, Mrs Yetunde, Head SheVentures, Iyalode of Yoruba land, Chief Mrs. Alaba Lawson, former Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Titi Oseni, former Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Alhaja Salimot Badru, Mrs. Arobieke, Special Adviser on trade and investment and others who were present at the event appreciated the first lady and SheVentures for the good initiative and pleaded with the beneficiaries to make good use of the loan and pay back on time.

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