Guinness Nigeria, Nigeria’s total beverage company continues to fulfil its commitment to socio-economic development across communities in Nigeria, with its most recent effort being the empowerment of 200 women with trade assets through the company’s Plan W-empowerment programme in Ijebu-North Local Government Ogun State.
Guinness Nigeria’s Corporate Relations Director, Mr. Rotimi Odusola, explained during the event that the empowerment programme is part of the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives aimed at growing the capacities of the underrepresented in Nigeria, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Prior to the visit to Ijebu North, Odusola stated that the Plan W-empowerment initiative had helped women in Osun, Edo, and Kaduna, with the program aiming to reach additional women in the South-South region soon.
“We aspire to have a long-term influence in the society and economies where we operate by investing in more women.
The Plan W-empowerment initiative corresponds with our sustainability plan’s three pillars of alcohol in society leadership, community building, and decreasing our environmental effect in the communities where we operate. We believe that as women are empowered, the initiative will make a substantial contribution to the establishment of vibrant communities in Nigeria,” Odusola said.
Odusola added that “for this particular group, we have partnered with organisations such as the Growing Business Foundation and Sight Savers to ensure that we reach out to the right set of individuals that this programme would significantly benefit.
This time, we have included women living with disabilities because we intend to expand the inclusion process to further cater for people with special needs. All the beneficiaries have been trained on basic business skills in the establishment and sustainably running of small-scale businesses. We believe that the skills acquired will help them to grow their businesses”.
In her remark, the representative of the First Lady of Ogun State, Dr Elizabeth Olufunke Oyeleye commended Guinness Nigeria for the Plan W initiative and noted that the programme aligns with the vision of the leadership of the state.
“I thank Guinness Nigeria for initiating this micro-enterprise empowerment programme for women across the country since its pilot in 2019.
What started as a plan to increase employability for women through skills acquisition has quickly spiralled to the many success stories of the private sector contributions to improving the livelihood of citizens in the country especially women in underserved communities.
I say a very big thank you for bringing this programme to our women in Ogun State”, Oyeleye said.
Oyeleye added that “for any component of empowerment to be successful, it must include financial education.
Many of the empowerment programmes that exist for women today are not very successful because of the missing ingredient of financial education.
But I am delighted that Guinness has taken the bull by the horn and today they have done some financial education for all the beneficiaries on how to manage their money and avoid unnecessary expenses.
Therefore, to actualize the full value of any financial empowerment or endowment initiative, financial literacy must be at the heart of such programmes.
I am happy to see that the Plan W initiative of Guinness Nigeria includes aspects of capacity-building training which covers general business skills, business modelling and simple business arithmetic’s”.
Beneficiaries at the event were empowered with trade assets and seed capital to start small-scale businesses under the supervision of officials who will at all times provide the needed guidance for a successful implementation.
It is worth noting that Diageo, Guinness Nigeria’s parent company, was the first alcoholic beverage company to sign up for the United Nations Women Empowerment Principle as part of the firm’s diversity and inclusion policy (UNWEP).