By Elizabeth Adegbesan
UNION Bank in collaboration with Leading Lady Africa is supporting women’s capacity building with Alpher platform in an enterprise and leadership programme.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Union Bank, Lola Cardoso, explained: “The Alpher platform for women is a value proposition that targets Nigerian individual women as well as women in business. It basically provides an enabling environment and support whether it is through products and services but more importantly the capacities and opportunities that they need to grow and thrive and also it will pave way for others that come after them.
“We think about an enterprise leadership programme and so we partnered with the Leading Lady Africa, and Union Bank is reiterating its commitments to women, to small scale businesses as well as paving a forefront for the Nigerian society.
“The specifics around Alpher, we have taken some time to invest a valid proposition in the platform and one of the questions you might ask is why a bank? But in many ways we are also a trusted partner to Nigerians, so in many ways when we invest in programmes like this, it is not about being a bank, it is what else we can do to grow businesses and start-ups.
“Apart from the individual women businesses that we focused on, we are also spotting businesses that support women. So it is a totally holistic picture for the Nigerian women.”
Commenting, Founder Leading Lady Africa, Francesca Uriri said: “Enterprise and Leadership programme is an initiative of Leading Lady Africa. It was important for us to partner with an institution that had the history of not just supporting women businesses but supporting enterprise. For the enterprise entrepreneurship programme, we opened it up and we received nearly 2000 entries from women and that again is a pointer to the fact that female entrepreneurs do need capacity building.
“A lot of the conversations are always just focused on funding. While funding is the important, if you don’t have businesses that have structure, that can scale, if it attract funding it is just going to be like water in the basket and so for us, the idea behind the enterprise and leadership programme is to provide that structure for women businesses.”