Enterprise is the greatest driver of economic development and a primary requirement is training partners with practical skills and increasing local investment. The Initiative partners with social entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises by providing small loans, business development skills, and introducing knowledge products.
Our vision under the enterprise focus area is to empower our partners and ambassadors through access to entrepreneurship training, networking and mentoring opportunities, financial and technical support, and to support them as they work with policy makers to create a strong system for small and medium businesses.
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Below are some of our current partners who facilitate local demand for the businesses they work with and act as liaisons between investors and small businesses. Finally, they encourage other community members to use the businesses that have been set up in this way for more sustainability.
NS Publishing Limited was established by Nkem Akinsoto to fill a demand by young Nigerian writers for capacity building and earning opportunities. The main product, Naijastories.com, connects Nigerian readers to accessible writing and writers to readers. The website, with almost 8000 members (upwardly mobile Nigerian readers between 16 – 66 years) and 6.8million lifetime views, aims to create an army of people who produce/consume, interact and pay for literary content.
Naijastories used a payment system for both writers and readers, with featured writers getting a fixed price each month, and prolific and popular writers paid based on their readership. Selected writers were published in royalty-paid anthologies, available on major marketplaces. with several cohorts of young Nigerian writers earning enough to sustain their craft and encourage further exploits.
Naijastories.com publishes short stories and exciting series, organizes interaction between established and budding writers, promotes writing contests with prizes, provides a discussion forum for readers, and coordinates offline events like writing workshops and meetups. Naijastories partnered with SmoothFM, a leading radio station to pioneer a story sharing program on the radio.
Mamamoni is a Social Enterprise that empowers low-income rural and urban slum women with free vocational skills and Mobile loans. Founder, Okocha Nkem experienced poverty growing up with a widowed mother with no skills to generate income and no access to finance, and feeding and going to school was a big challenge for Nkem and her siblings. When Nkem saw women and children in her community suffering similar lack due to the high poverty level, she started Mamamoni.
The Mamamoni business model consists of providing access to skills acquisition, financial literacy and mobile loans to selected women from local communities. In 5 years, they have trained almost 4,000 women with 90% of the beneficiaries starting a business and 99% repaying their loans.