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5,400 widows to benefit from $500,000 SME grant

5,400 widows to benefit from $500,000 SME grant

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Anna Okon

The Founder/President of Felix King Foundation, Felix King, has announced a new initiative tagged Widows Economic Progress Meetings (WeProgress) with $500,000 funding grant for widows to run small businesses.

According to a statement from the body, WeProgress, which aims to turn disadvantaged widows into small business owners, will be officially unveiled to the public on the International Widows Day in Lagos.

The statement said, “Weprogress project is a pan-Nigeria programme targeted at disadvantaged widows and active poor rural women with single mother’s status in Nigerian communities where widows’ maltreatment is still very prevalent.

“The project will directly touch 5,400 widows and poor rural women in over 380 cooperative meeting groups.”

King was quoted as saying that over 90 per cent of widows were denied access to capital to operate small businesses.

He said, “Weprogress will help disadvantaged widows and active poor rural women in Nigerian communities gain access to capital they need to build their small businesses so that they too can contribute to the prosperity of their families and that of their communities.”

According to the statement, the rural-based programme will encourage participants to form a meeting group of 10 to 20 women, appoint their meeting group representatives, obtain a verification letter from the recognised community head.

It added that once the group was certified, the foundation would give a business rotational grant to the meeting group with the community head acting as patron.

King was quoted as saying about the method of disbursement that the project was a woman-help-woman scheme.

He said, “Beneficiaries are expected to contribute 40 per cent of their initial capital grant received from the foundation in a year to the purse of the meeting group.

“The contribution from members will be extended to new members that will be nominated by the meeting group.”

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