14 February 2019

Nigeria: Empowering Women Via Online Platform for Self-Employment

In efforts to reduce high unemployment rate, promote self-employment and job creation among women, two partners, Folashade Dan-Oketola and Nwakaego Abuah, professionals in dressmaking have decided to empower Nigerian women through their Sew Easy Workshop online platform.

This platform is to simplify the acquisition of dressmaking skills.

Speaking on the online dressmaking academy, Folashade Dan-Oketola said: "We take women like us through a journey from having no idea about sewing to being able to confidently make their own clothing and also be able to make for others.

"Our core focus is to ensure that every woman who decides to participate will achieve her self-fulfillment on dressmaking. By this we mean every student is individualised and helped to learn at a pace that puts her under no pressure while at the same time getting the appropriate support needed to make it to the end of her learning programme".

According to her, "Our target audience is mostly women who have a burning desire to learn how to make garments; it could be women who have had experience in dressmaking but didn't find fulfillment, or they could be complete novices.

Dan-Oketola said that in Nigeria and many other countries, there are women who want to know how to make their own clothes for different reasons. We know this because with an online community of 20,000 women across the world, we have found that the locations and circumstances may differ but the goal is similar.

She said that these categories of women could be single, married, who are gainfully employed or running their own businesses. Others could be single ladies, mothers who are not finding fulfillment with their present jobs.

When asked how this training could create jobs, she said: "We have been creating jobs already. Many stay-at-home mums have been able to start their own businesses. Many of our students who have 9-5 jobs are now able to have a second source of income with a sewing business on the side. Also, our own business has had us employing a few more hands to work with us at the back end".

She said major challenge of the online empowerment programme is that people believe it is not real. The issue of trust is a big challenge.

"Many people can't fathom the possibility of learning comprehensively online. They first think it's impossible. However, over time we are eventually able to let them see it is real and very possible. Also, our numerous testimonials speak for us. And we do not intend to stop. So many people need us and as long as these people and their needs exist, so shall we by God's grace."

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