BY DAYO ADESULU
Lagos–– Girls Creativity Hub, a U.S. government exchange alumni-led project, has completed a 12-month long entrepreneurship program for 100 out-of-school girls and young women.
Aged 18-25, the participants received training and mentorship in areas of creative design, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills, with the overall goal of establishing economic independence.
Through sessions led by a local team of trainers, the 100 participants explored the basics of entrepreneurship, received guidance on how to register a small business, delved into finance and cost management, and expanded their sales and marketing abilities.
Delivering remarks at the closing ceremony of the capacity building program in Lagos, U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs Adnan Siddiqi highlighted the U.S. Mission’s goal of strengthening human capital for inclusive Nigerian economic growth and human development.
He explained that the project was specifically designed to enhance the capabilities of the participants to create sustainable small businesses and reiterated the U.S. government’s support for initiatives that support women entrepreneurs.
“The United States believes that the economic empowerment of women is crucial to the development of every country. Without women’s inclusive participation in society, any gains in economic growth, development, science, or technology are unsustainable,” Siddiqi said.
Siddiqi noted that the project was funded by the U.S. State Department’s Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund, an annual global competition that supports the efforts of exchange program alumni who are creating innovative solutions to global challenges.
“Our esteemed alumni – 2019 Mandela Washington Fellow Modupe Darabidan and 2018 International Visitors Leadership Program alumnus Remy Shittu – developed this initiative to support marginalized young women in this community. You were able to align your priorities for the benefit of your fellow citizens to improve economic growth and development, and we are proud of you for giving back to your communities,” he added.
The U.S. sponsored exchange programs and initiatives focused on supporting women and economic empowerment include TechWomen, the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, the Global Sports Mentorship program, the Fortune Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, and the TechGirls program. A full list of exchange programs can be found here.