Scores of women-owned businesses benefit from the Women Entrepreneur Development Program by P&G in partnership with WeConnect International
As part of Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) diversity and inclusion efforts, the leading consumer goods company in partnership with WEConnect International has expanded its Supplier Diversity initiative with the third edition of the Women Entrepreneur Development Program (WEDP). The program seeks to include more women-owned businesses in the supply chain by training female entrepreneurs, providing them with the skillsets necessary for competitive advantage,
The two-month intensive program was led by P&G experts and external partners, including Oxford Brookes University. Over 42 female entrepreneurs were trained on how to further develop their capabilities, building skillsets to further grow their businesses. The seven-module curriculum covered development topics such as business strategy, strategic collaborations, leadership skills, procurement processes, social capital accumulation, pitching and digital marketing.
Speaking on the impact of the program, Mrs. Mokutima Ajileye, Country Manager for P&G Nigeria said “WEDP is aimed at achieving equal representation of men and women in an inclusive environment, where they can deliver their full capabilities. Nigeria is a country of huge potential, yet women have been systematically excluded and disadvantaged.”
“Through this program, we aim to economically empower women with the right tools and knowledge needed to grow their businesses and offer opportunities for them to provide solutions to multinationals across the country. As an organization, P&G is committed to inclusive growth and removing barriers to girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment, and we will not relent in our efforts to support Nigerian women to thrive.” added Mrs. Ajileye.
WEConnect International has collaborated closely with Procter & Gamble on the P&G Women’s Entrepreneur Development Program (WEDP) in Nigeria and globally since 2017. The organizations have worked together to develop over 500 women-owned businesses in 11 countries since the inception of the program. “The 2021 Nigerian program had an impressive turnout with 42 women-owned businesses excited to learn from P&G experts. Feedback from the participants in 11 states in Nigeria has been overwhelmingly positive.” said Mrs. Patricia Langan, WEConnect International Regional Director for Africa and Middle East.
Speaking on the project impact, Aisha-Claire Alkali, CEO, The Charcoal Grill restaurant and coffee lounge, a WEDP participant said “Being selected to attend the WEDP programs sincerely was a privilege. It was one program that I looked forward to every Monday. The speakers were on point and I learned a lot that will surely impact my business. It was an amazing experience with great illustrations, given by well experienced speakers. It is a privilege to know that women empowerment is a big deal to P&G and I’m proud that I benefited from it and it’s well appreciated.”
The WEDP supports gender equality and supplier diversity, a key pillar of P&G’s Citizenship initiatives. The program reiterates P&G’s commitment to developing an intentionally diverse supply chain by working directly with women-owned businesses. By empowering women-owned businesses, the program, diversifies P&G’s supply chain promoting a real and lasting impact in the communities within which P&G operate.
“To achieve our goal of creating transformational impact in our business and community, it is imperative to empower women and enable them contribute their quota to the nation’s economy. This is a part of our #weseeequal commitment to increase the participation of women-owned businesses in global value chains and double our spend on women-owned businesses over the next three years.” says Temitope Iluyemi, P&G Senior Director for Africa, Global Government Relations & Public Policy.
The WEDP program is the most recent in a series of P&G partnerships with relevant international and local organizations, government ministries, departments, and agencies to empower women in Nigeria and across Africa.