The service provides tips and advice on how to start and run a successful business via mobile phones. | By Eki Toju
Female entrepreneurs in Nigeria have received a boost with the introduction of a new information service that provides essential business tips and practical advice on how to start and run a successful business via their mobile phones.
The service – ‘Business Women’ – was introduced by Nokia West Africa, in partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) and MTN.
Cherie Blair, founder of CBFW, told journalists that women entrepreneurs are faced with significant barriers to scaling up their businesses, including access to affordable resources, marketing channels and training inputs.
According to Blair, the new information service aims to address this imbalance by providing essential entrepreneurship tips, delivered via SMS to mobile phones with the Nokia Life service.
Women entrepreneurs present at the launch of the service expressed optimism that the new information service would assist them in overcoming some of the social and economic barriers preventing women from reaching their economic potential.
Respondents agreed that computers and the internet allow women to build entrepreneurial success; however, mobile phones have the most potential because their portability and ease of use make them a particularly friendly tool to support women’s business growth.
James Rutherford, the Vice President of Nokia West Africa, said the initiative was part of Nokia’s “commitment towards connecting people to new opportunities, including making women a larger part of the next billion of people to be connected”.
“Nokia Life is by far the world’s largest mobile information service suite helping consumers in emerging markets learn, live and share information better,” he said. “The foundation invests in women entrepreneurs to build and expand their businesses; and in doing so, benefit not only them but also their families and communities. We are delighted to partner with the foundation to provide Nigerian women with the best information available to help their businesses.
The service will be available for free, for the first six months, to Nokia Life users who are also currently subscribed to MTN Nigeria.