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Lagos, Nigeria: MasterCard has announced a collaboration with Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) in Nigeria to support 1500 women entrepreneurs by providing them with technology and skills-enhancement programs.
Through the Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs program, YTF is targeting female business owners from the Niger Delta region, and is providing them with business management and capacity building skills, while deepening their access to financial services.
Youth for Technology Foundation will recruit and train women entrepreneurs from across nine states in the Niger Delta region including: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Imo, Ondo, Rivers and Edo. Participants will undergo 10 hours of classroom and online training as well as networking events designed to allow for exchange of experiences among fellow entrepreneurs. Participants will receive SMS-based messages twice a week with information ranging from business basics, tools, leadership, money management, sales and marketing as well as banking and credit.
Commenting on the partnership with MasterCard, Mrs. Njideka Harry, Executive Director of Youth for Technology Foundation said: “We are keen on harnessing the power of technology to transform the lives of disadvantaged people and communities in developing countries. We are very happy to partner with MasterCard in Nigeria to provide female entrepreneurs in the Niger Delta region with practical tools that will bring transformation to their businesses, and by extension enhance their lives as well.”
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential to the development of Nigeria’ economy. The Financial System Strategy 2020, a forward-looking initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria, highlights that SMEs represent about 96% of Nigerian businesses and face numerous challenges such as infrastructure and knowledge gaps in addition to a poor financial support and credit environment.
MasterCard works with a number of non-profit organizations around the world to support financial literacy, entrepreneurial empowerment and much more.
Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice-President and Area Business Head, MasterCard West Africa added: “MasterCard has always been passionate about empowering women entrepreneurs across the globe. In Nigeria, we have found an excellent partner in Youth for Technology Foundation that is already actively at work in Nigeria and other parts of the continent. We desire to see a financially inclusive nation, where citizens across all demographic groups can access financial services and in so doing, enhance their lives.
The Nigeria Women Entrepreneurs program is expected to accelerate access to financial products for small and medium size business owners, through skills enhancement to boost business growth and development.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, @MasterCardMEA, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau
About Youth for Technology Foundation
Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), www.youthfortechnology.org is an international non-profit organization founded in 2000. YTF partners with youth and women living in marginalized and rural communities in the developing world and in low-income communities in the U.S. YTF equips them with information and communications technology (ICT) skills which empower them to stay in school, transition to viable employment or create jobs through entrepreneurship. YTF’s strengths are our abilities to assess market demands, collaborate with individuals and communities to design and implement educational and entrepreneurial developmental programs, create networks that expand educational access and business opportunities, and to deliver customized ICT and entrepreneurship training that lifts youth and women out of poverty. Follow us on Twitter @youthfortech.
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