Lagos/London, Nigeria/UK. Thursday, November 19, 2020: Nigeria’s leading telecoms services provider, 9mobile and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women have committed to an exciting new partnership to support women in Nigeria to develop the confidence and skills they need to grow their MSMEs at scale. Starting today, on this year’s Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (19th November), 9mobile will harness its technology and networks to promote the Foundation’s award-winning business skills app, HerVenture, to women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
This new partnership is expected to deliver on its objectives by leveraging a combination of 9mobile’s technology and technical expertise with the Foundation’s products and programmes. This will enable the upscaled provision of integrated mobile business support services for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. In addition to its tech and network support, 9mobile’s soon to launch Payment Service Bank, 9PSB, will also bring added value to the partnership with its innovative online banking facilities for women entrepreneurs.
Given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the imperative to fast-track the world into a digital economy and create more women entrepreneurs, there is an urgent need to support women to develop the business skills needed to succeed now and post-pandemic. The Foundation has responded to this need by enhancing the HerVenture app to offer new opportunities in the digital space including e-commerce and digital marketing. Thanks to the support from 9mobile, this offer will be made available to more women in Nigeria and contribute to stronger and more resilient businesses across the country.
Helen McEachern, CEO of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, comments: “We are thrilled to be working with 9mobile to help bring HerVenture to even more women in Nigeria. Mobile companies have a powerful role in steering women to the support, products and services they need to grow their businesses and support economic recovery. Through working with the Foundation, 9mobile is helping to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs with the essential skills they need to make their businesses resilient and grow when they could very easily go backwards. We are delighted that this is just the start of an exciting new journey.”
Alan Sinfield, CEO of 9mobile, comments: “9mobile recognises the importance of leveraging its technology to support very important segments of society like women, to build and grow resilient businesses through this pandemic and beyond. We’re delighted to be working with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to support their efforts to advance women’s entrepreneurship potentials in Nigeria.”
Over 20,000 women entrepreneurs have been supported through HerVenture in Nigeria so far, with 99% finding the training delivered on the app to be very useful. Users found that, on average, their profits increased by 38%, and 88% of users increased their customer numbers. 89% of the Nigerian women using the app also reported that the networks they had developed in the app had been helpful.
Building on this success, the partnership aims to help thousands more women-owned MSMEs to survive the pandemic by facilitating the uptake of the app’s COVID-adapted offer to women entrepreneurs.
“Fantastic and fully loaded app. It gave me great insights on how to navigate and grow my new business,” comments Susan Shagbo, a woman entrepreneur in Nigeria who has successfully used HerVenture to support her business, “I recommend this beautiful app for every woman considering to become an entrepreneur or already an entrepreneur, your business will experience tremendous growth after going through the different modules.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Further information on HerVenture partnerships:
Video showcasing HerVenture’s impact this year in another of its roll-out countries, Kenya: https://youtu.be/tn_lXyPGwe0
Image: a Nigerian woman entrepreneur whose business has been successfully supported by HerVenture. Download at https://www.dropbox.com/s/v16l3xd537q52ra/0O8A1224%20copy.jpg?dl=0
About Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women helps release the potential of women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries, and close the global gender gap in entrepreneurship. Since the Foundation’s inception in 2008, it has directly supported over 175,000 women across more than 100 countries. Through its combined approach of programmatic delivery and advocacy, the Foundation supports women to start and grow successful micro, small and medium businesses, with training, technology, mentoring and networking at the heart of its work. This opens doors to finance, markets, contacts and more, and enables women to create better futures for themselves and their families, enable their communities to prosper, contribute to strong economies, and move the world in a whole new direction.
HerVenture is the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s mobile learning app. It supports women entrepreneurs to access the skills, confidence and networks they need to grow their businesses.
HerVenture provides essential business training and support, enabling women to access skills-building information ‘on the go’. It features eight learning ‘tracks’ on a range of topics, including launching a business, product innovation and expanding market access. The 7th and 8th learning tracks, focusing on digital marketing and e-commerce, launched in 2020 having emerged as a priority in a survey the Foundation conducted on how COVID-19 has affected the women entrepreneurs in its network.
Based on user input, the app suggests a personalised learning roadmap for each entrepreneur. Content is provided in bite-sized, easily digestible formats such as swipe-able cards and quizzes. The learning content can also be accessed offline. The app allows users to find and connect with each other, as well as learn about local business events.
HerVenture is highly scalable and can be adapted to any geography or language. It is currently available in Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya and Nigeria, with plans to expand further. The app has been developed over the past few years with support from Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Happel Foundation, the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, the Swedish Postcode Foundation, ExxonMobil Foundation, USAID and DHL.
In its 12 years of operation, 9mobile has built up a state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure and taken a leadership position of innovation and quality among mobile network operators operating in Nigeria. 9mobile is poised to drive the future of technology in Nigeria through the delivery of high-speed data and quality voice services that will enable customers on its network to do more. 9mobile is renowned as the most innovative, youth friendly and customer focused network in Nigeria and have continued to offer subscribers the best in class telecommunication services tailored to suit their needs.