Household brand, Sunlight, has restated its commitment to empower and make a significant difference to women entrepreneurs by supporting women-owned businesses in Nigeria.
Speaking during a brand purpose workshop organised for the media in Lagos yesterday, the Corporate Affairs & Sustainability director, Unilever West Africa, Soromidayo George, said, “the goal of the Sunlight Shakti programme is to help African women achieve financial security and move from low-income to middle-income thereby bolstering their independence.”
On his part, the category manager, Homecare, Oladapo Oshuntoye, disclosed that thousands of rural women have already been empowered in Nigeria since the launch of the Shakti programme in 2004 and provided seed capital in the form of Unilever products, business training and funding for women thereby improving the livelihoods of rural areas. He stated that the vision for the Sunlight brand in Africa is to empower 500,000 women by 2025.
He said, “We are excited to reaffirm our commitment to empowering more women in Nigeria as it truly unifies our efforts to deliver more to Nigerian women, both inside and outside the home. We look forward to launching more activities that meet African women’s different needs in business. Across the country, Sunlight continues to do more through various programmes that empower women-owned businesses and move the needle in limiting barriers to success.’’
“Sunlight believes that supporting women-owned businesses across all stages of their entrepreneurial journey will help shift the general, usually limited; perception society assigns them. We want to do our part in unlocking their potential so that they can thrive and contribute to a bold narrative about women’s success both in and outside the home.’’
The Shakti programme articulates Sunlight’s work across the African continent, building communities of women entrepreneurs who want to do more and achieve more. The rollout of the various programmes has been country-specific, targeting women’s unique challenges.
Sunlight will roll out further activities across the continent over the next three years to support entrepreneurial African women. These activities will be specific to the needs of various communities. They will cover a multitude of support, including training and development, funding, mentorship and coaching, and start-up support, to mention a few.