Billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist Folorunso Alakija has unveiled a N1 billion fund to promote women-owned businesses in Africa.
The fund, Flourish Africa, is a female empowerment platform designed to help women achieve their full potential.
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In a statement announcing the fund Alakija disclosed that the initiative would focus on supporting the entrepreneurial activities of at least 2,500 female-owned businesses through funding and structured training over a period of five years.
She said “I’m happy to launch the Flourish Africa 1 billion Naira fund on my 70th birthday as a gift to hardworking and enterprising women. This initiative will focus on empowering women economically and socially for the benefit of their immediate families and the society.”
She further explained that a minimum of 500 female micro-entrepreneurs would be trained annually.
After the training, 100 audacious entrepreneurs from the pool will be able to access grants to the tune of N2 million each for their businesses from an annual fund of N200 million.
She explained that she looks forward to empowering one woman at a time as she strongly believes that women are a crucial part of Africa’s development.
She restated her commitment to empowering as many women as possible in Africa as one of the things she would want to be remembered for.
Forbes ranked Alakija number 20 on its Africa’s Billionaires 2020 list. She also featured in Forbes Billionaires 2019 and ranked number 80 on Power Women 2016.