‘I want to see more women on Forbes list’
Ugochukwu Henrrietta Chima is a confident lady who is passionate about helping women rise to the pinnacle of their dreams. As Chima is set to officially launch her not-for-profit organisation, Great Ladies Circle (GLC), she speaks with Florence Utor on what GLC is and how she intends to achieve her dreams
What is GLC all about and how can any woman interested join the group? Basically, GLCF is a global community of female entrepreneurs who are dedicated to God and the service of humanity. These women are self-motivated women and Forbes aspirers who are on a mission to empower themselves and other women folks globally.
What is the inspiration behind this NGO?
For a long time I was thinking of what I could do to give to the less privileged. I studied Microbiology and I run the family pharmaceutical business as the Managing Director, I also sell women’s wigs as a hobby and I am doing well but I had a yearning to do more.
I thought of women, this is because as I was going through Instagram one day, I saw Forbes list of the riches people in Africa, of course Aliko Dangote was there with other men but there was only one woman, Folorunsho Alakija, who ranked number 19. I told myself there could be more women on this list, so what is holding us women back from attaining this height? I know women have skills and talents; most of us only need the platform to become just as great.
One day in my quiet time in January, I heard a voice tell me ‘why don’t you start a forum for women.’ I was confused; I had no prior knowledge of an NGO either by mentorship or any means.
When I told my husband about it, he was glad because he also has a vision of starting a skills acquisition centre later in life. Immediately I got his support, I knew I was on the right track and before long, the inspiration on what to do, the name Great Ladies Circle, the activities and other ideas were just pouring in and I was just writing them down.
By the third day, I began to ask on my Instagram page if any woman wanted to join a group of God-fearing women looking for a platform to excel and I was amazed at the response. By mid-January, I had over 450 members, and on January 20, the group officially took off with our motto, “Lets Succeed Together.”
So far we have four zones- Lagos and all the western axis is Zone one, Zone two is Benin Anambra, Owerri and Delta and Zone three is Enugu, Ebonyi, Port Harcourt and Umuahia and finally Kaduna, Abuja and all the north as Zone 4.
We shall be launching GLC officially with special guests of honour such as President, Professional Female Engineers of Nigeria, Engr Mrs Felicia Agubata; 2019 female presidential aspirant Dr. Helen Ndidi Godswill Solomon; first female Counsellor in Lagos State, Dr. Priscilla Otuya, President / founder Mother of Nations Bolatito Ladega and others.
So what activities will be taking place today?
Lectures and mentorship programmes such as skill acquisition, financial support for start-ups, business equipment like sewing machines, ring-light ovens, free drugs for treatment of indigestion and constipation, take-home gifts for pioneer members, cultural dance and opportunity of networking.
Have you sought for sponsorship anywhere else, seeing that the project you have embarked on is a huge one?
So far, FCMB is partnering with us, besides I believe that when God gives a vision, he makes provision. It is not that we are buoyant, so we will welcome donations from any trustworthy quarters but so far, I am doing this with the help of my husband.
How far do you see this organisation going?
I see it going father than I imagined, like I always say, if you want to go far, plan your future like today. In a couple of years I want to see the women of this group attending international meetings that only the high and mighty usually go- zealous women that when they stand in the society people will see that they are coming from somewhere, and this has nothing to do with money but the lives they have been able to inspire positively, that Forbes list that I can see only one woman there, I want to see more women with at least 50 per cent of them coming from this circle. I want to see this group having health centres, skills acquisition centres and above all I want to see us travelling the world over to help victims in crisis.
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