Improving Economic Opportunities for Girls in Nigeria
Nigeria’s 80.2M women and girls have fewer opportunities compared to their male counterparts and lag behind men in socio-economic development indicators. In fact, Nigeria ranks 118 out of 134 on the Gender Equity Index. Though adolescent girls do participate in economic activities, they are often forced into subsistence level opportunities.
The ASSETS program (Accelerating Savings and Strengthening Entrepreneurship through Training and Skill-Building) works to empower and promote opportunities for marginalized girls through:
- Creation of community-led savings groups, which can operate in remote areas where formal financial services are not yet available. Participating girls learn business and financial literacy skills and can save to start a business.
- Access to entrepreneurship, internship or apprenticeship opportunities to improve economic status. Due to the age and skill-level of the participants, Mercy Corps is focusing on identifying micro-franchise opportunities along with business skills training, which are lower risk with existing marketing and customer bases to establish their businesses and improve their economic status.