NGO supports 1000 women on medium/small scale businesses in Cross River

The Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation in collaboration with Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative (CROWEI) on Wednesday doled out an N50,000 grant each to 1000 Women under a collaborative Small and Medium Business Enterprises programme.

The ceremony took place in Ikom, headquarter of Ikom Local Government Area of the State at the end of a One-Day entrepreneurship training programme.

Speaking at the event, Wife of the State Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade said, she was delighted by the initiative of the Asuquo Ekpenyong Foundation to train and support women in businesses to boost their economic earnings.

She lauded the Foundation for partnering with CROWEI to empower women across the 196 wards of the state, adding that, this was unprecedented in the history of the state.

According to her: “CROWEI will continue to stand firm with women in all their endeavors.”

Mrs. Ayade urged the women not to relent by participating in leadership and business positions in the State to better their lots.

In his remarks, the founder of the Foundation, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong said his inclination to support 1,000 micro and small businesswomen across the state was predicated on the ‘Ayadesian Theory.”

“We don’t give because we have enough; we give because we care enough,” he said.

Ekpenyong, who is also the State Commissioner for Finance, added that he resolved to partner with CROWEI with the view to alleviating economic hardships in Cross River State women.

“We must find ways to alleviate the suffering of our people. I am convinced that one of the ways to do this, is through supporting our women.

“As primary caregivers in the home, uplifting women will uplift the entire family because they extend these resources across the members of the home,” he said.

He said that life’s experiences have taught him to, not only give people fish but teach them how to fish.

He noted that at the end of the training programme which captures as well the nitty-gritty of financial literacy/business management, the Foundation disbursed N50,000,000 in Micro Grants of N50,000 each to all 1,000 beneficiaries.

According to him, this was to scale up their working capital, pointing out that “women make up more than half of our universe, if they do not prosper, we cannot thrive.”

Also speaking, the chairperson of CROWEI, Hon. Lawrencia Ita praised Ekpenyong for the gesture, especially at the turn of the new year.

She assured the donor that CROWEI would continue to play her role in ensuring that beneficiaries put the grants to judicious use.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Christiana Okon from Ofutop Ward in Ikom Local Government Area said the grant would contribute in no small measure to expand her garri and yam business, where her entire family feed from.

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