NBC, Foundation, Train 1,000 Women, Restate Commitment On Empowerment

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The Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited and Karis & Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation plan to train no fewer than 1,000 women on viable entrepreneurial skills across eight states across.

The company said the initiative was aimed at accelerating the economic inclusion of women in Nigeria.

A statement by the company said that the first set of beneficiaries numbering 200 had been trained in Lagos, with seven other states set to benefit from the initiative.

The intervention, tagged: ‘#NBCEmpowerHer,’ the company said is being implemented under its recent one million Euros donation to support communities through social impact programs.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the programme in Lagos, Ekuma Eze, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director at NBC, reiterated the company’s commitment to promoting the economic empowerment of women in Nigeria.

“We owe our success story to Nigeria, which is the birthplace of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and, more specifically, to the women who represent a sizeable chunk of our distribution network.

We recognise that women are the pillars that hold every community together, and empowering them is central to every sustainable society,” he said.

Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Ekuma added that after over 70 years of refreshing Nigeria, the company considered it expedient to give back to the communities as a celebration of its shared heritage.

This initiative, Ekuma emphasised was one of the several interventions the company was implementing across Nigeria, around key focus areas, including youth and women empowerment, recycling, water, sanitation and hygiene.

Speaking earlier on the initiative, Bukola Bamiduro, the Executive Director of Karis & Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, regretted that many women in the country were largely marginalised.

Bamiduro explained that Karis & Eleos was founded because it believed that by training women, it could make a difference in the communities.

“We are grateful to have partners like NBC who believe in us and our vision to improve the lives of women and make them bankable,” she added.

Through the partnership, the #NBCEmpowerHer initiative would reach 1,000 women across eight states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Oyo, Kano, Rivers, Imo, Borno, Edo and the Federal Capital Territory.

Women of all ages have been trained in vocational skills including baking, makeup, shoe making, amongst others.

They have also been exposed to relevant business management tools, including how to promote their enterprises on social media, and basic bookkeeping.

At the closing ceremony, which held in Lagos, beneficiaries were provided with startup kits for their businesses.

In addition, NBC supported 25 beneficiaries to join the company’s network of retailers and further assisted them with opportunities to access seed capital.

Commending NBC on the initiative, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the First Lady of Lagos State, who was represented at the occasion by Mrs. Odumbaku Abimbola, the wife of Ojodu Local Government Chairman stated that the company’s effort would go a long way in alleviating poverty and boosting the local economy through the empowerment of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

#NBCEmpowerHer is a women empowerment intervention funded by NBC under its one million euros donation to support social impact programs in Nigeria.

It is implemented by Karis & Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation and is targeted at empowering vulnerable women across 8 states with relevant skills to drive economic inclusion of women.

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