By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Four participants of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, (AWE), with the best business ideas are to received a grant of $4,000 from the United States of America Government.
Amina Lawal, Coordinator for AWE, disclosed this during the final selection of the beneficiaries held in kaduna on Tuesday.
She named the beneficiaries as
Anita Kevin, of Amina Dyslexia Centre; Zainab Jebtoa, of JZ Clothing; Summaya Kabir, of Interiors by SK; and Lisa La’ah, of Shela Dehydrated Veggies .
Acccording to her, the program is a White House led initiative aimed to empower women across the globe with all the necessary skills and tools needed to become and emerged successful entrepreneurs.
Lawal who is the Executive Secretary of Toes To Heels Initiative, (THi), facilitator of the project, further said adverts were sent out and 762 applications were received and 25 best business ideas were selected.
“The 25 participants have gone through series of trainings using the online platform that AWE provided, which is a combination of IT and entrepreneurial skills.
“Participants at the training used computers to access the course outlines from United States. There are in-person facilitators from the Kaduna Business School, Nigerian Defence Academy, (NDA), and Kaduna State University, (KASU), through physical contacts with participants.
“This is to ensure participants understand what they study online. At the end of the course participants write their business plans and then pitch their business ideas,” she said.
Lawal disclosed that the programme is the first cohort in Kaduna state.
Also, Chief Executive Officer of Smiley Mobile Kitchen Ltd., Mrs Lois Kange, who was one of the Judges at the event said already 25 participants have been trained, and today’s event is the pitching competition where four top business ideas will emerge.
She disclosed the criteria used for the pitching competition to include; viability of the business, problems such business idea is trying to solve and how novel the solution is.
Speaking on behalf of the winners, the Chief Executive Officer of Amina Dyslexia Centre, Anita Kevin, said beside the grant attached to the programme, she has also updated her knowledge due to the series of trainings she went through.
According to her, the most important part of the training is the fact that it has brought her in contact with other women entrepreneurs in Kaduna.
“This has form a network for me where I can easily tell the message of my social enterprise. This is more important for me,” she said.