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Lagos, Nigeria:  MasterCard and Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) through its Girls’ Enterprise Program (GEP), today announced a joint collaboration to provide experiential education and training on financial literacy and entrepreneurship to Nigerian youths.  600 secondary school students across 20 schools in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja will benefit from the program.

The Girls Enterprise Program is a part of JAN’s Leadership Empowerment Achievement and Development (LEAD) camp which recruits and trains senior secondary level 2 (SS2) students on different aspects of setting up and running a business, including writing business plans, selling shares to raise capital, electing officers, managing a business and financial records as well as returning profits to shareholders as dividends.

Further to the LEAD camp, forty volunteers and sixty small businesses have been deployed for practical sessions to fully implement the program. Ten participants will be assigned to each partner with small businesses for two weeks on internship, and afterwards undergo a one day interactive session with the Microfinance institution. At the end of the exercise, 100 “girlpreneurs” will assess resources and loans to start-up their businesses. All the 600 participants will also form peer support groups based on their locations.

Speaking about the partnership, Omokehinde Ojomuyide Vice President and Area Business Head for MasterCard in West Africa, commented: “MasterCard is privileged to work with Junior Achievement Nigeria to turn around the lives of young people in the country. We fully stand behind the youth, the future of this country, and gladly support this initiative to build capacity in entrepreneurship, which is a crucial component of financial empowerment. The partnership between MasterCard and Junior Achievement is ideal because we both share a passion for educating youth as they become financially active in society”.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the unemployment rate in the country stands at 23.9 per cent, a worrisome trend that CBN agrees poses a negative impact on the economic development of the country. Furthermore, the youth unemployment rate is recorded at 46.5 per cent. Entrepreneurship caters for the creation of opportunities for large and small-scale employment, resulting from the setting up of business units. In this way, entrepreneurs play an effective role in reducing the problem of unemployment in the country which in turn clears the path towards economic development of the nation.

Commenting on the partnership with MasterCard, Junior Achievement Nigeria Executive Director, Mrs. Kumbi Wuraola said: “We are excited about this collaboration that will see entrepreneurial skills and a new breed of financial literacy delivered to Nigerian youths. The LEAD camp is designed to empower girls in secondary schools to become young leaders and achievers, as they prepare to commence their dynamic career futures.”

For over a decade, MasterCard has partnered with Junior Achievement to provide financial empowerment education to young people across the world. MasterCard’s partnership with Junior Achievement began with the Junior Achievement—Young Enterprise program which stresses entrepreneurial thinking among youth as well as featuring entrepreneurial opportunities for them.

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About MasterCard
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 Junior Achievement Nigeria
Junior Achievement is the world’s oldest and largest non-profit economic education organization operating in 112 countries worldwide. Junior Achievement is dedicated to building a bridge between the classroom and the workplace by encouraging young people to participate in a range of educational programmes designed to help them understand the world of work. JA started operations in Nigeria in the last quarter of 1999, and since then has reached over 250,000 students in over seven hundred and fifty schools in Lagos, Ota, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ilorin, Abuja, Jos, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Port Harcourt, Warri, Uyo and Enugu through over 500 volunteers. Junior Achievement Nigeria (JA Nigeria) offers FREE business economic education programs tailored to add value to young people between the ages of 5 – 25 in Nigeria. JA Nigeria is seeking to reach 1,000,000 young people in Nigeria by the end of year 2020. For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/JuniorAchievementNigeria/info

Media Contacts
Favour Ojiabor, JSP Communications favourojiabor@gemail.com
Aderonke Adebule, JSP Communications aderonkeadebule@gemail.com