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.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
Get Reports via Email
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.