Accord Empowers Ekwuoma-Abavo Women to Boost Their Economic Strength

Accord Empowers Ekwuoma-Abavo Women to Boost Their Economic Strength

The Accord for Community Development a frontline Non-governmental Organisation based and operating in Nigeria, recently carried out an economic support program for women under its SWIM project.

SWIM which is an acronym for ‘’Support for Women in Micro-enterprise’’ is an economic empowerment program targeted at women micro-entrepreneurs who are active in business. SWIM is an Accord’s initiative aimed at improving the income generating potentials of economically active women through the provision of micro funding, business capacity building trainings as well as linkages to markets and support chains.

The program was targeted at economically active women micro-entrepreneurs in Ekwuoma-Abavo Community in Ika South LGA of Delta State under the umbrella of Ekwuoma-Abavo Women Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society. A total of twenty women benefitted from the first phase of the program in the community with a sum of fifty thousand naira disbursed to each of the beneficiaries as support for their businesses.

The Ekwuoma-Abavo Women Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society was established by the women of the community as an organisation through which they can engage with development agencies for the sustainable development of the women. The organisation is duly registered with the Delta State Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

While addressing the beneficiaries of the program during the disbursement ceremony which held in the community on the 14th of September, 2021, the Accord’s Executive Director, Mr. Andrew Eruemulor Ogbuigwe represented by Mr. Francis Orumgbe encouraged the women to put the funds provided to good use, stating that they stand the chance of getting larger amounts if the funds are used to support their businesses and not diverted for other purposes.

The Snr, Programs Manager of the Development Advocacy and Gender Department of Accord who also manages the SWIM project Mrs Efe Eikuokhae, urged the women to remain committed to their businesses and also take care of their health. According to her, people can only carry out their businesses effectively if they are in good health.

Prior to the loan disbursement exercise, the beneficiaries of the program were taken through some capacity building trainings by Accord. The training sessions were designed to find out the capacity gaps of the beneficiaries with regards to effective business management, as well as enhance their capacities to manage their businesses in the most effective and sustainable manner in line with international best practices.

Thus, the beneficiaries were trained on;

  • Book keeping
  • How to manage your business effectively
  • How to prepare feasibility plan
  • Market survey/marketing strategies
  • Know your customers
  • Packaging your goods

 The training sessions were interactive with the beneficiaries actively participating in all the sessions.

The program is designed to run for twelve months as a revolving loan scheme with the beneficiaries repaying with a minimal interest rate of 1.5% monthly and an accumulative interest rate of 15% for the duration of the program. The beneficiaries will enjoy a two-month moratorium (grace period) during which no repayments will be made. They are expected to start repayments after the grace period.

The scheme is being run as a revolving loan scheme where beneficiaries are expected to make monthly repayments of the loan amount plus interest divided into a ten-month period. Repayments will be made into the co-operative’s bank account by the beneficiaries on a monthly basis. After the twelve-month duration of the first phase of the scheme, another set of beneficiaries who will be identified through Accord’s selection process in partnership with the leadership of the women groups, will be given micro credit assistance.

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