Guinness Nigeria Plc has empowered 150 women in Calabar as part of the Plan W women empowerment programme of the company.
The Plan W initiative is a programme designed to support the government’s effort at growing the socio-economic capacity of women and the underrepresented across selected communities in Nigeria.
Guinness’ Corporate Relations Director, Mr. Rotimi Odusola, explained during the event that the empowerment programme is part of the company’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives aimed at improving employability and growing the capabilities of the underrepresented in Nigeria, in line with the organisation’s ESG agenda tagged, Society 2030:Spirit of Progress.
Odusola said: “Working with our partner, Growing Business Foundation (GBF), we are teaching women the rudiments of establishing small businesses and how to grow such businesses.
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Beyond the training, we empower them with the assets with which to start the trade and ensure that they carry on in a manner that will help them to stabilize and prosper.
“At Guinness Nigeria, we recognise that women are very important in the demography of any nation. Unfortunately, they are often disadvantaged and disempowered, Therefore, with this programme, we are contributing our quota in supporting the government, people and the communities where we do business.”
So far, the Plan W programme has empowered women in seven states across the country, including Enugu, Osun, Edo, Ogun, Imo, Kaduna and now Cross River. The women were provided with trade assets and seed capital to kick-start their businesses.+
In her remarks, E. Ikpi who represented the Cross Rivers State Commissioner for Women Affairs thanked Guinness Nigeria for the gesture and urged the beneficiaries to utilise lessons from the empowerment training to grow their businesses.
“This training has addressed a major part of what some of our women are lacking regarding sustaining their businesses. I want to particularly appreciate Guinness Nigeria with what I have seen here today. Our women have learnt about how to keep records and how not to lavishly consume their capital and profit,” Ikpi said.
The representative of the Women Leader from Ikot Effanga Mkpa/8 Miles community, Mrs. Hossanah Silas expressed her joy for the empowerment programme. “I am so happy andimpressed, I have never seen this before, if other organisations or companies can also come along to make women happy, it will really be impactful because many women are suffering especially in the aspect of health” Mrs. Silas said.
The beneficiaries in Calabar were empowered with trade assets and seed capital required to start small-scale business which will be under the guidance of professionals for the women to build a sustainable business.
While speaking at the event, Chief Effiom Ewa who represented High Chief Nta Etim of Esuk Otu Community in Calabar Municipality noted that the empowerment is going to be very impactful on the beneficiaries. “I wish other corporate organisations can from time to time empower people of their choice, it will go a long way to help savage the economic situation of the country. We are impressed, we thank Guinness Nigeria and really hope that the beneficiaries make good use of the training and the empowerment items so that the company will also be happy to see the beneficiaries progressing” Chief Ewa further noted.
It would be recalled that Diageo, Guinness Nigeria’s parent company, was the first alcoholic beverage company to sign up for the United Nations Women Empowerment Principle (UNWEP) as part of the firm’s diversity and inclusion policy.