Jenovive advocates diaspora women-partnership in West Africa
International social development advocate and entrepreneurship development mentor, Chinyere Jenovive, has called for concerted efforts by well meaning ECOWAS citizens in the diaspora to support the institution of capacity building and empowerment initiatives in their home countries.
Jenovive, whose work has been impressive with impact in countries across West Africa, and the diaspora, however, hopes Nigeria would be more welcoming and with an enabling environment for diaspora-citizens’ participation.
“There are several Nigerian women impacting the world with footprints in different endeavors. You find Nigerian women holding high positions in other countries and you wonder and sometimes ask: Why are our own people not in Nigeria doing that same job or impacting women to be able to do the same?
“Apparently, they too are afraid of lack of resources and support to be able to do what they want to do. I’m hoping women can get support from other Nigerians and others, who like me, have resources, passion, insight and network to build far reaching partnerships and help make impacts in Nigeria,” she said.
Jenovive is a seasoned entrepreneur, sales and marketing personnel and business consultant who has gathered experience consulting for multiple firms in the oil and gas, media and communications, agricultural, mining, construction and hospitality sectors, where she helps businesses and industries achieve outstanding growth and development, while branding them for corporate visibility and increased marketing value.
Jenovive, who also spoke during a panel discussion of the Wintrade Global event at the House of Lords, United Kingdom, said she often finds that there are a lot of women across West Africa who has the capacity to do the work or to achieve greatness but lack the confidence.
Recently, she initiated a project named ‘Level Up’, which is focused on helping young women and girls with the understanding of entrepreneurship and opportunities available in various fields of endeavour. It also aims at encouraging young women and girls to pursue entrepreneurship as a viable path for empowerment and foster some sense of empowerment and confidence in them.
“We want to encourage them to pursue entrepreneurship as a viable path for empowerment and also foster some sense of empowerment and confidence in young women. We do this by mentorship programmes and also by creating networking events and competition,” Jenovive explained.
The programme has expanded with another programme, which would hold in Ghana. Level Up targets young women aged between 20 and 35 but the Level Up initiative in Ghana would be a bit different.
“This is something close to Level Up in Sierra Leone called ‘Country os’. The programme has 10 girls being overseen and helping them as far as a mentorship programme.
“Now we’re giving them a space and we’re going to help them with brand visibility on an international level platform.
“In Senegal, a similar initiative is in the works and we are being connected to the Great Green Wall Initiative’s agenda,” she added. Over the years, Jenovive has made herself a force to be reckoned with. Her formative years were spent between London, Sierra Leone and America. Jenovive’s early years in Sierra Leone, though short, was to have a defining influence on her life as she experienced and witnessed firsthand the atrocities perpetrated during the civil war.
This encounter hardened her resolve to not merely survive but to turn the proverbial ‘lemon’ into lemonade. This realisation prodded her to embark on a journey that led to bold triumphs over stereotypes, injustices and social limitations.
This earned her the meteoric rise from the nooks of obscurity to the corporate galaxies, first in New York, where she dabbled in commodities trading with a reputable firm on Wall Street, managed a chain of restaurants and was a distributor for two beverages operating out of a 5,500 square feet warehouse.
The Level Up project is currently projected to run in five countries in the ECOWAS region, which include Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Nigeria. The five countries are the main areas of focus with plans to also include Guinea Conakry and some other countries in due time.