In a bid to ensure that female entrepreneurs are fully equipped for the 21st century global world through the use of technology and digital tools to work independently, Committee of Friends for Humanity in collaboration with Google Africa recently organised a free training in Lagos for them.
Committee of Friends for humanity (COFFHA), through the Google digital training for female entrepreneurs, aims to promote successful entrepreneurship and improve the business environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) so that women, especially, can realise their full potential in today’s global economy.
More fundamentally, in order to seize the new opportunities that digital technologies are opening in many areas, individuals especially entrepreneurs have to develop the right set of skills to make a meaningful use of these technologies to grow their businesses.
This was the main reason why COFFHA gathered women from its database to take advantage of the opportunity offered by Google.
About 120 entrepreneurs were trained at Hallmark Nursery/Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos, on how to grow their businesses using various digital tools. The SMEs owners received free training on the use of digital devices and were exposed to e-commerce, and social media marketing.
The training also equipped the participants on the use of Google Insight and social media to improve business operation. The participants also gained knowledge on how to use YouTube for customer interaction and Google+ Business for optimisation and to target customers.
Participants with business links were registered on Google My Business, an Internet-based service for business owners operated by Google, alongside the digital skills training, to improve the visibility of their businesses on Google Search and help grow their customer base.
Google My Business network was launched in June 2014 as a way of giving business owners more control of what shows in the search results when someone searches a given business name.
COFFHA President who said it took only some efforts to get the women where they are today, added, “It took some months for us to plan for the training. We had to register with Google and we were validated to be able to be in this partnership. We didn’t pay anything to Google. It is completely free and Google is also helping in giving them lunch which comes with drinks and water. So, when you are costing COFFHA, it is only on putting up the logistic for setting up the venue for the training and fortunately for us, the venue we used, Hallmark Nursery/Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos, was provided for us free of charge by the Director of the Hallmark School. She also made available the projector and speakers for us.”
Her advice for women entrepreneurs, especially those running small scale businesses was: “Be very focused; have proper business plans, ensure you register you businesses and also be sure that you never use the capital base of your business but sustain it. Because when you derail from your focus, you would start touching the capital base of the business you are running and that is a sure way of failing. But when you plan very well and you know where you are going and you increase your network, success is sure for you.
“And this is what this training would achieve because the women are meeting one another and they would achieve some networking and also be able to complement what each of them is doing as well as make referral to one another.”
Highlighting on what informed the training and why was necessary for the women to tap into digital opportunities to run their business better, the Vice President of COFFHA, Ms Nckechi Ali Balogun, said, “We observed from our interactions with women that a lot of them lacked digital skills, especially the kind of women COFFHA is interested in – women who need empowerment and need to be trained in various vocational skills.