In the past 4 months, 1.1 million Nigerians have slipped into extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 per day, which now brings the total number of Nigerians in extreme poverty to 88 million, reinforcing its position as number 1 in the global poverty rating. Majority of this population are women who live in rural communities in various regions across Nigeria, with no skill, no stable income and are excluded from development initiatives, especially in the regions ravaged by war and crisis in the last decade.
We solve the challenge by using our web and mobile based E-commerce platform to showcase local handicrafts, goods and services produced by rural women to a global audience, enabling otherwise excluded businesses to reach a global audience(market). The OLEJU solution is a timely and unique solution that has the potential to transform the economic landscape of rural dwellers tremendously because it employs a holistic approach that addresses the key components that hamper the growth and development of women especially in rural communities, and our target beneficiaries are rural women and people who dwell in rural communities, otherwise excluded from economic growth and development opportunities.
The multiple impact we create include establishing rural women led SME’s on the internet, enabling already existing undeservedbusinesses with 21st century technology, create access to new markets, enabling trade across borders for otherwise unreached rural SME’s. Furthermore, the OLEJU platform increases the income and sales of rural businesses and on the long run reduce extreme poverty, by giving rural women led SME’s better opportunities to thrive.
The OLEJU enterprise’s holistic approach further provides training for rural women to utilize the platform by establishing local entrepreneurship hubs to ensure they have the resources and knowledge to access the platform and manage their businesses with little or no assistance. Within the last 12 months, through our e-commerce platform and hubs, we were able to connect over 980 rural women who produce local handicrafts to supply demands from organizations like SALESFORCE USA and raised over $200,000 from Organization’s like Google, Union Bank of Nigeria, for these women artisans. These women were also able to increase their income by 40% and production capacity by %25, giving them the opportunity to provide paid employment for more women/men within their community which is a key human development indicator.