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Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women

Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women
Entrepreneurship Skills Training for Young Women

Girls Power Initiative provided grants in the form of equipment and shop rents to up to six graduates of her six-month entrepreneurship and internship programme in 2017. Businesses were set-up for these girls in the area of fashion design and shoe-making. After four months of setting-up the business of fashion design, one of the girls - Sarah has experienced increased income and has contributed to fending for the family. She has this to share-“My business was not moving smoothly when I started as sometimes I could stay up to one week without patronage from anyone. I started marketing my business by talking to people on the streets, church, neighbourhood and social media platforms. After making those efforts, I started having customers and the number increased over time.”i am now earning up to 5,000 naira a week from my business which was difficult to get before now. The income has been very helpful as I now contribute to feeding at home. My sewing skills have greatly improved so I make nice designs that attract more customers.” I appreciate GPI for enabling me to become an entrepreneur. I have gotten another shop where I intend to relocate to very soon.”

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According to the National Bureau of Economic Research  (NBER) economic recession is described as a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in a real gross domestic product, real income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales. One of the major causes is mass unemployment especially among girls and women.

As one of the measures to ensure girls and young women in her constituency are gainfully employed and overcome the economic recession that hit Nigeria in 2016, Girls’ Power Initiative under her Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Programme provided start-up grants for small scale businesses in the areas of fashion design and shoe-making.

 Eight girls were selected in the 4th quarter of 2016 for the grants based on their outstanding performance and commitment during the six-month skills training and three-month internship programmes. Five girls received grants for shops and sewing equipment and three girls received grants to rent shops and procure equipment for shoe-making. These girls have established business relationship with various customers to make and sell their products. They have made and sold gowns, shirts, skirts, slippers, covered shoes, and hand bags and have generated revenue of more than N20,000 in the last two months with a gross margin of 30 percent. Here are some of their testimonies:

 “Since I started I have made and sold 8 skirts, 3 gowns and 3 bags. I wear some of my products to advertise. My plan is to make unique dresses and expand my business. Thanks to GPI for this opportunity.” – Mary

“I feel very happy because there are people out there looking for this opportunity. I have made more than N10,000 from the sales of gowns and skirts. I plan to also train others in this line of business.” – Sarah


“I have made up to N30,000 from the sales of covered shoes, slippers and sandals in the last two months. I appreciate GPI for the support.” – Obasesam


GPI plans to reach more girls and young women in Nigeria with this opportunity with a view to empowering them socially and economically as well as attaining Planet 50:50 by 2030.

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As part of her young females empowerment programme, Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) has over the past three years carried out entrepreneurship skills trainings for out of school girls and young women.  These trainings, which last for 6 months enable the trainees to acquire training in identified skills that enable them generate income to be self-reliant, thereby reducing their vulnerability to exploitation of any kind.


Girls in Batch 5 of the training for the year 2016 were trained on sewing, shoe-making and fish farming from April to October. On fish farming, girls are trained on:

  • stocking procedure;
  • Pond construction and management;
  • materials required in a fish pond;
  • fish feed and feeding practices and
  • management practices (all activities carried out during fish stocking to ensure good yield).


The introduction of fish farming in the entrepreneurship programme was met with the challenge of trainees’ lack of interest among others. Verbal evaluations with the previous batches of girls revealed that they would not want to establish fish farms because of huge investment requirements such as water supply, fish feed, land, pond management techniques and access to market.


Having learned some lessons from previous batches in the areas of girls’ attitude, training content and training methodology, a new strategy was developed and introduced in collaboration with the trainers at the centre. Girls worked in groups to manage fish ponds thereby actively involved in demonstrations from the stocking of the ponds through management practices to harvesting.


Some girls were motivated in the process and decided to make efforts after the training to establish their fish ponds. Unlike other batches where majority of the girls paid more attention to sewing and shoemaking, the 2016 batch had up to four girls who after the training with support of parents, set-up fish ponds with stock size of over 1500 fingerlings and procured other fish farming facilities and inputs.


GPI is exploring the utilization of these girls who have achieved these feat to serve as trainers in subsequent batches to motivate other girls to establish their fish farms as one of their livelihood activities.



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GPI Calabar graduated 143 girls and young women from GPI’s weekly safe space lesson programme, the entrepreneurship skills training programme, and the media academy on August 27 2016. Out of this number, 34 girls graduated from the fish farming, shoe-making and sewing skills training.

These out-of school young girls between the ages of 15 to 25 years, began the entrepreneurship skills training in July 2015 under Batch 4. They passed through a rigorous training on the afore-mentioned skills for 6 months after which they were placed in different business organizations for 3 months internship. The fish farming training covered Stocking Fingerling; Construction and Cleaning of Fish Pond; Types of Feed; Managing a Fish Pond and Identifying Ailing Fingerlings.

On sewing some girls learned how to make different kinds of dress including gowns, jackets and skirts. Training on shoemaking covered production of pams, slippers, sandals and covered shoes. These shoes and dresses are sold to GPI staff members and members of the public to generate income for the girls and organization.

Stories of knowledge gained, skills acquired and income generated from sales of products were shared by some girls. These stories show impact of the entrepreneurship training on graduates.


Before the 6-month entrepreneurship, Peace could not make any shoe. She makes female slippers and sandals after the training and internship programme. On her earnings and plans she said “I have earned over N10,000 from sales of 12 pairs of shoe. I plan to set up a shoemaking business in future. “ Peace


 “I have made more than N7,000 from sales of shoe during the entrepreneurship training which was used to support my transport cost to the centre. Before the internship I had the challenge of making covered shoes. During my internship I made 4 slippers, 4 sandals and 1 covered shoe for my boss which were sold to customers.”  Stella


Caroline made more than 10 different kinds of dress for herself before starting her internship programme. She is now one of the graduates utilizing GPI’s creative commune. In appreciation she said “I thank GPI for the opportunity to learn this skill.”       Caroline


Affiong could only use her hands to stitch materials before the entrepreneurship skills training. She can now sew different styles of skirt and blouse. She has made more than 25 dresses for over 9 months and earned more than N20,000. “I plan to open a shop to learn more styles and meet customer needs” she said. Affiong


Blessing has made more than 20 pairs of unisex slippers since she started acquiring the skill. She has recorded huge improvement in cutting and filing. To further improve her shoe-making skills she said “I will learn more on making covered shoes after my internship.”     Blessing


Blessing A., who could not design and cut materials for shoemaking can now make male and female slippers and covered shoes. “I have made and sold more than 20 pairs of shoes earning more than N20,000. I intend to enrol for the University Matriculation Examination and buy some shoemaking tools from the proceeds” she said.      Blessing A.


 After 6 months training, Jennifer has made more than 20 pairs of sandals and slippers for males and females earning more than N10,000. She said “I desire to be perfect in making covered shoes. Also while planning to set up a business place, I intend to continue learning from other experts.”    Jennifer

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Obasesam Ikpi is a 24 year old entrepreneur who is eager to share what she has learned in the Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) Entrepreneurship Skills Training program. From an early age she was interested in handicrafts and creating wearable products. Through her family she learned how to work with Ankara (traditional West African printed fabric), covering shoes with the fabric. Her mother also taught her to how to make beads, and helped her sell some of the products she made. When Obasesam heard about GPI’s entrepreneurship program in 2014 she wasn’t sure whether the sewing or shoe-making classes would be of more interest to her, but settled on the shoe-making classes. Obasesam demonstrated her commitment to the program, juggling her final year of school classes with the GPI program.

When purchasing supplies during her internship, the men from the shoe making field that Obasesam often interacted with were surprised to discover that she made shoes. Obasesam does report that shoe-making can be a very dirty business! Even when she wears protective wear she sometimes gets her clothes dirty.....and it’s impossible to do the work with fake fingernails which is the style of many young Nigerian women. Anyway, she kept in contact with the men who owned shoe-making businesses, and visited them in their shops, learning new techniques from them. In steadily building up her customer base since her internship, Obasesam now reports that she makes more money at the end of a month than the average civil servant in Nigeria does.

When GPI asked Obasesam to be a resource person for the new batch of students learning shoe-making through the Entrepreneurship Skills Training program she was pleased to accept. She says, “I feel privileged to impart knowledge to trainees. I am someone who is interested in given out knowledge gained for the benefit of others so there will be space to get more. For me, it is fun to impart knowledge to the girls. I try as much as possible to give them all I have so that if possible they could do better than I am doing.” She has improved upon the course since being a student in the program herself, ensuring that all of the shoes produced by the girls in her class are of high enough standard to attract buyers. She also recognizes the importance of evaluation, and makes sure that there is time for the girls to discuss their challenges and offer input to improve the course.

Obasesam and her class of 35 girls have finished 2 months of the 6 month Entrepreneurship Skills Training program (which will be followed by a 3 month internship). The girls in her class are also learning fish farming. In this fifth batch of students in the program there are also 40 students learning sewing and fish farming skills. GPI is proud to have Obasesam as an example of what an ambitious young woman can do if they are given the opportunity to excel. Thank you for partnering with GPI to empower more young women who are inspired by what Obasesam has accomplished.

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Organization Information


Location: Calabar, Cross River - Nigeria
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Comfort Ikpeme
Calabar, CROSS RIVER Nigeria
$1,030 raised of $35,000 goal
60 donations
$33,970 to go
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