In a remarkable move towards realizing the ease of doing business in Nigeria, Strategic Outreach Support (SOS) has extended financial aid worth over N5 million to assist market and local women traders in Dutse, under Bwari Area Council, Abuja. This initiative is set to provide the much-needed support to these small-scale businesses and further strengthen the nation’s economy.
The SOS program according to the organisers is tagged “Market Women Support Fund” initiative.
SOS Spokesperson Raqaz Ivori who disclosed this after kicking off the programme in Abuja said the Market Women support fund program would cover every local government area of the federation.
According to Ivori, the programme started with an account registration exercise facilitated by zenith bank and over 500 unbanked women had new accounts opened and credited with the sum of N10,000 naira, adding that funding was made available by SOS.
He said that the project will circulate to the five area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) before spreading to other parts of the country.
Ivori noted that the SOS aim to support the renovation of existing market infrastructure and building new markets as well as support with the provision of clean water, sanitary facilities, electricity and safe storage.
Other areas according to him, includes: Support by Providing small funds for market women to help their weekly contributions and expand their goods and services, stocks and sales, working with partners on adult literacy and entrepreneurial training programs as well as savings and loans associations, providing daycare centres and playgrounds for children and health facilities for the market and spearheading the advocacy movement of market women across Africa and the world.
He said: “Strategic Outreach Support SOS is a Tax Exempt and Not-for-Profit organization that focuses on providing the relevant elements of sustainable development to communities in the areas of Health, Education, and Artisan/Skill Acquisition. Using strategic partnerships as the necessary tool to sustain humanity.
“Over 500 women including food vendors, retail provision sellers, and farm produce traders became beneficiaries of the Market Women Support Fund – MWSF powered strategic Outreach Support in partnership with Zenith Bank.
“The capital funding exercise which is ongoing and would cover every local government area of the federation, saw a very large turnout of women and women trade associations in Dutse/Bwari, started with an account registration exercise facilitated by zenith bank. Over 500 unbanked women had new accounts opened and credited with the sum of N10,000 naira – funding made available by SOS.
“A seminar to promote the establishment of funding for market women to boost trade of small/medium scale enterprises, to also cushion the adverse effect of the global economic challenges, titled “Influencing Global Policy Implementation for Sustainable Development” will hold on the !9th of May 2023 in Abuja.
“The seminar will have as a keynote speaker and guests of honour/speaker’s notable dignitaries as Rev Dr F. I. Omobude President of NCGC Worldwide and former President of PFN Nigeria, Minister for Youth and sports development Chief Sunday Dare, Minister for women affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen and members of the local and international NGO community.”