- NEWN commences mentorship programme in 2018
The Network of Enterprising Women Nigeria (NEWN) recently organised a conference and exhibition in Lekki, Lagos where members showcased their products to visitors.
TechEconomy.ng was on ground to hear from the National Coordinator of the Initiative, Augusta Nwokafor; a Business Development Consultant.
Nwokafor who doubles as the MD/CEO of Ashrob Consulting, speaks:
“I have been in the field of business development for over 20 years; so it is a field that I am conversant with. I did academic works on sustainable development. In the course of the academic journey, I realised that for us to have sustainable growth involves creating ‘communities’. That is what The Network of Enterprising Women Nigeria (NEWN) is all about; a community of women with common interest even as individual business owners.
How NEWN started
“It was through collaborations, networking and the web keeps expanding; a friend would join and extend the message to another friend, sister and before you could say jack, the community was established. We are supporting each other for the purpose that our businesses thrive. While membership is exclusive, our services and reach are inclusive, because we want people to benefit.
“The reason why NEWN was launched is the reason we have to reach out to non-members. No man is an island; you can’t be happy alone. I am blessed as a partner in this vision; here are enterprising women who share similar ideas. They are women who have bought into the idea that it takes both hands to wash each other clean; they don’t have problems with supporting each other.
“Today, businesses thrive based on partnerships and we understand that. We derive joy in motivating other women who are even outside the network.
How NEWN intends to impact the larger society through mentorship programme in 2018
“We have problems outlined; and keen on addressing them, especially those hugely related to enterprising women. Our earnest desire is to see our members meet their goals. Beyond that we have a mentorship programme which is starting in 2018. People are registering as either mentor or mentees.
“The whole idea is that a lot of people desire to commence a particular business line, if they could have someone in same business, where they could commit time to learn the intricacies; through the step by step coaching they will excel. We are just sixteen months into this vision and the community is growing. We also promote a lot of made in Nigeria products, offer consulting services in various fields.
Young women Should rethink the risks involved on migrating to Europe
“We need platforms as NEWN to teach younger women that life is not just rosy; most of them need a change of mindset. The streets of London are not parked with gold. Those countries we long to go and seek greener pastures, it took them long time to reach the state they are now. We have our struggles (as a country), but we also have our strong point. We need to allow the ‘can-do’ attitude to lead us to actions. Some of the things we see around are not so unimaginable; there is a lady among us, a lawyer, but she makes shoes. So, the young girl who gets on the boat and is headed for overseas, I don’t know, but my feeling is that they don’t really know what they want. I don’t mean the weather is perfect here, but there is so much to be done (opportunities); where you are going, you don’t even know, but ready to risk everything.
“Therefore, often times, we engage in learning event; our programmes, like I said, are inclusive. Any body who wants to learn can come around. You don’t need to be a member to benefit from NEWN. We have a member, a trained lawyer in the UK, but today runs a professional cleaning services company. She gets contracts; employs people.
“The Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) is here today; they engage in a lot of training. A lot of our members have benefited from their services. And that speaks of the opportunities that NEWN can offer you”.
The exhibition was an opportunity for NEWN members to showcase their made-in-Nigeria goods, promoting local contents, talents and opportunities.