With a strong relationship between illiteracy and poverty, it is of little wonder that poverty wears a feminine face in Nigeria. The feminization of poverty forms the background of this project.
SponsorHER Cycle 2 is an empowerment initiative with the objective of facilitating small business grants for nano-scale female entrepreneurs between the ages of 21 and 50 in low-income communities.
Women’s economic empowerment boosts productivity and increases economic diversification and income equality in addition to other positive development outcomes. With the SponsorHER project, we are providing a sustainable way for disadvantaged women to be financially independent.
Although this project focuses on women, it is a pipeline-blocking project. If women are lifted out of poverty, they are more likely to look after their children who will be less likely to become marginalized youths.
Nigerian women aged between 21 to 40 years, who are excluded from socio-economic and political decision processes with no formal education, earning <$2 daily income (possible domestic abuse victim).
The first cycle of SponsorHer was launched on the 9th of March date, 2021. 30 women from the Ijeshatedo community in Lagos state were sponsored with grants to scale their nano businesses. See their stories here
We select the sponsored women organically leveraging our relationship with local community leaders. The women are selected using the following criteria:
We then use a test of vulnerability to further narrow the pool of potential beneficiaries.
When a woman is sponsored, she has a consultation with our business adviser to determine the best use of the grant. Usually, it would be the purchase of inventory, equipment, tools, and/or the building of a shed. To ensure the grant is used for its intended purpose, we never hand over the funds to the sponsored woman. Instead, we directly pay for whatever is needed to scale the business as agreed by the sponsored woman and business adviser.
We send details of the sponsored woman’s business advisory as well as how the grant was spent to the sponsor. We also revisit the sponsored woman after the 3 months to assess how she has managed her business and provide more business advice.