We are a fintech company providing financial products and services for women owned businesses. The Shecluded Financing Women Owned SMEs (FINWOMEN) project promotes full productive employment and decent employment for young women in Nigeria by giving them access to financing and financial literacy programs for their businesses.
In Nigeria we are facing a major youth unemployment problem. 24,5 million of young Nigerians (18-35) are either unemployed or underemployed. Women face additional barriers in comparison to men when they are seeking (decent) employment. Leading causes in this issue are early family formation and lower roles of enrolment in schools. Young mothers are often discouraged from finishing school after getting pregnant and are expected to take care of the household and children.
Nigeria has the highest number of female entrepreneurs, which are largely driven into entrepreneurship by unemployment. Most of these female entrepreneurs are excluded from essential financial services such as a credit to facilitate business growth. From a survey of 7000 women entrepreneurs in the Shecluded networks, 89% stated that they started a business because they had to leave employment or were unemployed. They are challenged in finding decent employment, the challenges range from a low skill set, time poverty due to their role in the family and a lack of opportunities. In sum, (young) women are often unemployed because of the lack of sufficient skills, their role in their communities or the lack of opportunities.
Our project, Shecluded Financing Women-Owned MSMEs (FINWOMEN), promotes inclusive, sustainable economic growth, full productive employment and decent work for 1000 young women between the ages of 18-35 across 5 states in Nigeria. Within our project we are giving young women access to financing and financial literacy programs for their business. Our aim is to support 400 start-ups and 600 already established businesses owned by young women, within the timeframe of 24 months.
Our project consists of two phases. First, we will educate and train young women in skill areas that we have noticed women need in able to thrive. After the training we will identify the women that are motivated enough and we will provide them funding. Second, we will put them in different groups and networks so that they will have a support system and they can create connections in their sector.
Our long term goal is to we want to financially empower women by providing them access to credit and equipping them with/for business growth opportunities and as a consequence fight the unemployment of young Nigerian women.
The CFYE support will help us with the recruitment of eligible young women entrepreneurs and business owners, the training of successful female entrepreneurs and business and it will provide us the needed financing for 400 new start-ups and 600 existing businesses.
In general, it is likely that with the CFYE support, the project will be better designed, proceed more quickly and reach more young people than it otherwise would have.