ESWA has continued to persevere through the coronavirus pandemic while monitoring the situation closely.
In line with our financial education goals we are curating a support booklet for small market traders affected by the coronavirus, to help them re-establish themselves once restrictions are lifted.
We have also been analysing to changes to our way of life and what this means for business and entrepreneurship going forward. This will be used to further improve our E-WISE program.
I would like to mention that it is election weekend in Edo State and all the political parties are in the market again looking for support and promising changes to improve the living condition of market women. Following the upcoming election, three main market was burnt down this year. Many of the women were left to face their loses.
With the nature of our organisation and the threat of the coronvirus pandemic, we had to make some adjustments. Our staff/voluneteers are following the appropriate guidelines and are using their time to undergo online training to help prepare them for when the lockdown ends.
This has also been an opportunity to reflect and realise the importance of the E-WISE program. A trend we see with this pandemic is that wealth, both national and personal, contribute to how a nation can fight this disease. Countries which are able to go into a lockdown and provide for there citizens, fare better than those that cannot. In addition, the personal savings and wealth of the citizens affects their ability to follow the governmental orders. That's were E-WISE comes in. A program such as ours which aims at financially empowering and educating some of the most vulnerable in Nigeria, would help prepare them for unexpected times such as these. With lockdown persisting , many small scale entrepreneurs are faced with the dilemma of feeding their families with the risk of catching the virus or self-isolating and saving lives. Although no one expected the current events, it is clear that facilities like: a savings account, online revenue streams, and a range of other things E-WISE aimed to teach would have been helpful. That is why we will continue our work but are looking into doing things differently. For instance, by providing online courses on financial capability.
The workshop continues, the request for business lending also increased. Our observation is that people primary interest is accessing the business lending. So they will attend the workshop sessions and immediately expect to access loan for their business. This is totally against our present lending policy as we need to get to know more about the business and the person that runs it. We do this through ONE-ON-ONE business mentoring with those who have attended our financial capability workshop.
We are therefore, going to review our lending policy to better serve our primary purpose of economic empowerment. We will be listening and working with our beneficiaries to make any changes necessary.
From strength to strength: Financial Capability Workshop Kick Off
In our last report, we detailed our partnership with New Africa Comics (NAC). We have some exciting developments that we hope to announce soon. In addition to this, we have been on-ground in Nigeria kicking off our Financial Capability Workshop as part of our E-WISE program. The training-the-trainers portion of our plan was implemented. And now, more small and medium enterprise traders have been trained in 3 Nigeria states: Edo, Delta and Lagos.
The list of people signing up for our E-WISE program continues to grow and we are excited for what the future holds.
As stated in our previous reports, a struggle for resources is one that many grass roots organizations face, including ESWA. To solve this looming problem, an organization needs to be resourceful, innovative and resilient.
Luckily, these are all characteristics which are embedded into our team here at ESWA. On that note, I am pleased to announce a collaboration with an up-and-coming publishing company called New Africa Comics (NAC). NAC has agreed to both help spread awareness of the issues facing our market women traders as well as to donate a portion of the funds from their sales to ESWA.
It is innovative collaborations like these which enable an organization like ESWA to continue with the work that we do and fuels us to strive to do more. We will report more on this collaboration as it progresses – watch this space…….
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