VENTURES AFRICA – World’s second-largest mobile phone manufacturer Nokia in partnership with telecom giant MTN Nigeria and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women has launched “Business Women,” an SMS subscription service to deliver essential business and entrepreneurship tips to women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
A research conducted in May by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, “Mobile Value Added Services: A Business Growth Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs,” showed that 93 percent of female entrepreneurs in Nigeria were willing to employ valued-added mobile service to tackle core business challenges and 75 percent of the sample felt that addressing these challenges would lead to a significant increase in the value of their business.
The Cherie Blair foundation which empowers women for economic success partnered to create the mobile phone-based service is an effort to balance the disparity between the entrepreneurs who have higher difficulty “scaling up their businesses” compared to their male counterparts.
Founder Cherie Blair said in Nigeria at the launch that the product would give “women the chance to become financially independent and make the most of their talents” which is “key to higher living standards for them and their families.” Mrs. Blair added: “With the extensive reach of Business Women through Nokia Life and content tailored especially for Nigerian women entrepreneurs, this new service has the potential to empower thousands of women business owners.”
The new product on an initial duration of free subscription supported by MTN would offer practical information on marketing channels, affordable resources, training inputs, management among others.
Business Women is the latest product from Nokia Life package, an SMS based information service covering education, healthcare, entertainment and agriculture for emerging markets. Over 15 million subscribers in China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria are serviced by the package.