MallforAfrica, NEPC unveil initiative to assist 200,000 entrepreneurs
MallforAfrica in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) will assist over 200,000 women entrepreneurs in the country to sell their products in the global market, through the MFA Women Empowerment for Global Market Access Program (WE- GMAP 2020).
The WE-GMAP 2020 initiative is a platform that allows small and micro businesses to sell their products across the globe in bits, thereby promoting made-in-Nigeria products to the world.
Speaking at the launch of the platform in Lagos, Managing Director, MallforAfrica, Tope Folayan, said:
“We are launching an export platform. Basically, up till this point, MallforAfrica has been a platform primarily for allowing international merchants sell into Africa but now, we are flipping it by allowing local merchants sell internationally.”
“We are going to show people the ease of selling online, how to put their products on line, how to sell to a global market, quality controls and what the international market is seeking.
“Our focus is on women because we realise that if you empower a woman, you are empowering a whole family and a community,” Folayan said.
To ensure that products standards are met by businesses, he said the platform has a quality control element. “There is an on-boarding process where we vet the merchants before coming on board. We lookout for those businesses that have a brand and quality they can stand by. Only people with good quality products are allowed on the platform,” the managing director said.
He noted that MallforAfrica has partnered with Paypal, Master Card, VISA and to address the issues of payments with international transactions, while also collaborating with DHL to address logistics weaknesses.
Speaking on the partnership, Regional Coordinator, NEPC, South-West region, Babatunde Faleke, said: “MallforAfrica is a platform that is encouraging the sales of made-in-Nigeria products across the globe.
They have partnerships all over the world and the platform is just a quick solution for Nigeria SMEs to sell their products across the globe.”
“It’s a big platform that is awesome and creative and we are collaborating with them to see that SMEs who had problem of moving goods and looking for money to export now do so without stress because it helps to cut cost,” Faleke said.
Programme Coordinator, MallforAfrica, Liz Oluwadare, said the goal of the initiative is to build the capacity of 200,000 women to export their products, improve their quality standards and provide them access to international markets.
She said that the initiative is focused on some particular industries. “Our initial focus industries are fashion, clothing and textile, arts and crafts, jewelry and accessories, home décor, cosmetics, and African literature and entertainment while we transition into food and beverages in a couple of months,” Oluwadare said.
She noted that the platform is open to all businesses to access the international market but the WE-GMAP initiative is only accessed by women entrepreneurs.
President, Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), Funmilayo Ajila-Ladipo, applauded the initiative, saying that the platform would create a lot of opportunities to many entrepreneurs doing great things that need exposure.
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