AWP Network Program Managers, Florentina Agu and Sike Gbana Discuss the AWP Network Vendor Program

The African Women Power (AWP) Network recently launched a vendor program in collaboration with Shoprite Nigeria to help increase the number of women entrepreneurs who supply to Shoprite. 

The AWP Network Vendor program is a capacity building program for local vendors seeking professional guidance regarding best practices and guidelines to become vendor suppliers. The AWP Network Local Vendor Program in collaboration with Shoprite Limited, Nigeria will provide a real life opportunity for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria to get their products out into the market place. 

 Vendors are also provided the opportunity to pitch their products for consideration as a supplier to various program retail and institutional partners. 

Interested in becoming a vendor or supplier, please apply for the program here: AWP Network Vendor Program

Have questions or concerns, please email: mary  (at) awpnetwork.com 

Follow us on twitter and instagram: @awpvendor

Mary Olushoga Joins the Queen Strategy Partners Webinar on Financing Strategies for MWBEs

Mary Olushoga, Founder of AWP Network joined the Queen Strategy Partners Webinar titled, “From the Ground Up – Real Time Issues with Real Time Solutions,” which took place on May 22, 2020.

This information session will provide you with the right financing strategies for your small business. Small businesses are key drivers of growth, and that growth is fastest among minority and women entrepreneurs, however many of these entrepreneurs lack access to appropriate financing. 

This presentation will discuss solutions. During this information session, you’ll learn about: 

– Available financing products for entrepreneurs of color 

– How to find the right financing partner for your business 

– How to develop a game plan for your financing needs 

– What lenders look for in a business loan application

Mary Olushoga, Founder of AWP Network wins the Africa Data Challenge

The Planet Earth Institute hosted the first-ever ‘Africa Data Challenge,’ as part of its #ScienceAfrica UnConference. The challenge is a groundbreaking competition that invites well-qualified parties to pitch their ideas for projects that harness data for real human impact in Africa.

While the ‘data revolution’ is a major theme in conversations on technology and business, there is little discussion on how it can enhance Africa’s scientific development in a practical way. The ‘Africa Data Challenge’ invited innovators from around the world to pitch their ideas for projects that can help translate and transmit the power of data to those on the continent.

Projects were unlimited in scope and focus but must be designed to have a practical human application in the next 12 months. Contestants presented their project live in front of a panel to include: Beejaye Kokil, Head of the Economic & Social Statistics Division – African Development Bank, David Tempest, Head of Director of Access Relations – Elsevier, Richard Pilling, Director of Professional Services & Analytics (EMEA and APAC) – Intel, and Mariéme Jamme, entrepreneur and CEO of SpotOne Global. The successful innovators will be awarded a cash prize of £7,000 and will receive PEI’s support to roll out their project.

The ‘Africa Data Challenge’ forms part of PEI’s second #ScienceAfrica UnConference, hosted by Rt Hon Lord Boateng and organized in partnership with the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the World Bank, and the European Commission.

Dr Álvaro Sobrinho, Chairman of the Planet Earth Institute said, “data holds a huge amount of promise for scientific development in Africa and for many different business sectors too, but we have not yet fully explored how it can be used at a local level to improve lives. We are always looking for practical ways to support science and technology, and this Africa Data Challenge will help do just that – developing and incubating new ideas with real impact.”

Mary Olushoga Joins the PowertoFly Webinar

Mary Olushoga, Founder of AWP Network joined the PowertoFly webinar on August 11, 2020.

This information session will provide you with the right financing strategies for your small business. Small businesses are key drivers of growth, and that growth is fastest among minority and women entrepreneurs, however many of these entrepreneurs lack access to appropriate financing.

This presentation will discuss solutions. During this information session, you’ll learn about:

– Available financing products for entrepreneurs of color

– How to find the right financing partner for your business

– How to develop a game plan for your financing needs

– What lenders look for in a business loan application

Mary Olushoga Joins the Candid Talk Podcast

Mary Olushoga, Founder of AWP Network joined the Candid Talk Podcast to discuss the state of education in Nigeria including funding priorities, value for money and quality.

The Candid Talk Podcast is a about a small group of friends discussing politics and other socio-economic issues as they concern Nigeria and the Sub-Saharan African region.

The AWP Network to Support Women Entrepreneurs Through its Vendor Program in collaboration with Shoprite Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria – The African Women Power (AWP) Network has launched a vendor program in collaboration with Shoprite Nigeria to help increase the number of women entrepreneurs who supply to Shoprite. 

The AWP Network Vendor program is a capacity building program for local vendors seeking professional guidance regarding best practices and guidelines to become vendor suppliers. The AWP Network Local Vendor Program in collaboration with Shoprite Limited, Nigeria will provide a real life opportunity for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria to get their products out into the market place. 

 Vendors are also provided the opportunity to pitch their products for consideration as a supplier to various program retail and institutional partners. 

“Nigeria needs more success stories, this is why AWP Network deems it important to support women entrepreneurs to support and facilitate the rise of manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship. This we believe will help to reduce Nigeria’s high unemployment rate. We truly believe that this program is great for Nigeria’s community and economic development.” says Mary Olushoga, Founder of The AWP Network, a social enterprise based in Lagos.  For this project, Shoprite Nigeria Limited is one of our founding partners. 

Since opening its first store in Lagos in December 2005, Shoprite Nigeria has gone on to launch an additional 25 stores across 8 states in the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and employs more than 2000 people, of which 99% are Nigerian citizens.

Shoprite Nigeria was established to provide quality products at the lowest prices. This promise has formed the very foundation of its business, and has helped the company grow into Africa’s largest food retailer. Using its massive bulk buying power, ShopRite Nigeria is able to offer a world-class shopping experience on a variety of food products, household goods and small appliances. 

Interested in becoming a vendor or supplier, please apply for the program here: AWP Network Vendor Program

Have questions or concerns, please email: mary  (at) awpnetwork.com 

Follow us on twitter and instagram: @awpvendor

Empower Invest fund, EmNEW to invest in small and medium-scale renewable energy projects in Africa, with a focus on solar power, hybrid, and hydro technologies

 The African Development Bank managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, has approved a $760,000 grant to Empower New Energy AS (EmNEW), to develop at least eight (8) small renewable energy projects with capacity ranging from1-10 MW, towards bankability and construction. 

The grant will support a broad range of project preparation and development activities, including technical feasibility studies, legal due diligence, environmental and social impact assessment, quality assurance and risk management.

EmNEW invests in renewable energy projects through competitive equity to small and medium scale projects which helps to reduce the time and resources required to finance projects while delivering environmental and social impact.

EmNEW has regional offices in Kenya and Ghana, with projects expected to unlock up to $500 million in renewable energy investment, reduce CO2 emissions by 320,000 tons, create 20,000 new jobs, and eventually produce 585 GWh of clean electricity.

Welcoming the approval, Terje Osmundsen, EmNEW’s CEO, said, “We are very excited to be entering into a partnership with the African Development Bank and SEFA. There is a large number of strong small or medium scale projects across Africa that remain unrealised because they can’t access competitive financing. Our approach allows us to bridge this gap and working with SEFA, will help us to accelerate this process and support more high-quality projects. Together, we can bring impactful investment to Africa, while helping the continent to meet its electrification, carbon-reduction, and sustainable development targets.”

Yasmina Edwards and Freda Isingoma Launch The Village Femme

The Village Femme aims to create an engaging, inspirational, supportive and informative safe space for a network of women across the globe who are influencing change across industries and borders. At Village Femme, we believe that education stretches beyond the four walls and hallowed halls of educational institutions. Education is also about sharing knowledge, providing support, collaborating and creating meaningful and impactful partnerships. 

Yasmin Edwards states, “our shared passion for empowering women and the way we support, partner and collaborate together as women, is what inspired “The Village Femme”. Last month, during a Corona Virus quarantine check-in, while sharing our vulnerabilities, anxieties, opportunities and goals in this changing environment, Freda and I agreed that there was a need for a global female network that allowed us to just be. How? To be as women, working our way through this world both personally and professionally, where we can share our dreams, experiences, expertise, failures and possibilities in a safe space. After all, we had created that kind of relationship together?! So why not create that kind of broader environment with a group of women that we respect, love and admire? And there “The Village Femme” story begins….”

The platform will provide an engaging online network for women entrepreneurs, captains of industry and game-changers to come together and create powerful connections, find inspiration and provide support, resources and solutions to everyday personal and business challenges as they navigate today’s changing global dynamics.

Contact the team here: thevillagefemme (at) gmail.com

Carbon establishes $100,000 fund to address the lack of funding for African Entrepreneurs

Carbon’s Disrupt fund will invest up to $10,000 per startup (for 5 percent equity) and give access to Carbon’s API, allowing investees to leverage Carbon’s growing customer base and innovative technology platform, to get to market faster. Acknowledging that its success is dependent on the growth of the tech ecosystem, Carbon expects the initiative to spark more collaboration and further investment that should drive growth across the ecosystem.

Carbon is now accepting applications from companies with operations in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Egypt. Startups looking to apply for the fund must have a functioning product, post revenue and looking to operate in multiple countries. The fund has a wide investment mandate but target sectors include insurance, health, education which have not seen as much investment as the fintech space.

More than 50 percent of startup funding on the continent in 2019 went to fintech firms1, despite the abundance of opportunities that exist in other sectors. Carbon’s Disrupt fund has been developed to tackle this head on, making it easier for entrepreneurs across all sectors to access the funds and support they need to establish their solutions and achieve their business objectives. The fund will also provide mentorship, access to Carbon’s customers and payment platform, as well as office space in Carbon’s Lagos offices.

Learn more here: Carbon’s Disrupt Fund

Apply for the ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards to eliminate Infertility Stigma

Call for Applications for ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Media Recognition Awards 2020.

“Merck More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck More Than a Mother,” we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: by improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It is all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.

The entries have been called from three (3) groups:

  • English Speaking African Countries,
  • French Speaking African Countries,
  • Portuguese Speaking African Countries,

Applications are invited by media professionals to showcase their work to raise awareness about infertility prevention and breaking infertility stigma.

Who can apply? Journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms.

How to apply: Entries can be submitted

via email to mystory (at) merckmorethanamother.com.

DEADLINE: June 15, 2020

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