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Giving women entrepreneurs a leg up in Northern Nigeria

Through Canada’s support to the Mennonite Economic Development Associates organization’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Women’s Empowerment in Northern Nigeria project (over $15 million, 2017-2023), women entrepreneurs are learning key business skills.

Rakiya is a peanut processor in the Durum community of Bauchi State and one of the women who took part in this project. Six years ago, she started making peanut cake and oil. The work was extremely labour intensive, but with little profit.

However, a couple of months after she took part in the project’s entrepreneur savings and loan group, Rakiya became the woman sales agent in her group. She received training in business development and digital finance, and applied for a loan to acquire grinding and oil extraction machines.

“I took a loan for these machines from 1 financial institution called Rahama at the rate of NGN340,000 (approximately $560) to be paid back within the period of 6 months, but I have decided to repay the loan within 3 months,” she explains.

Two months after starting to use the machines, her production increased and she is now confident that she will repay the loan within a month. Her packaged products are now selling well at the university campus and Air Force Barracks Mami market, and she is able to pay the private school fees for her 3 children.

Rakiya, a peanut processor in Durum community of Bauchi State, Nigeria, with her peanut cake and oil products.
Credtis: © Emeraid Capital Management and Consults Ltd / Usman Ladan, Nigeria, 2022

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