No fewer than 150 underprivileged women were empowered to start up drinks distribution business on Wednesday in Owerri by the Guinness Empowerment programme.
The women were trained on business management strategies for profitability and assigned supervising sales officers to guide them in the business.
Speaking at the programme, the Corporate Relations Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr Rotimi Odushola, said the programme was concieved as a way of giving back to key stakeholders.
Odushola said the targeted beneficiaries were underprivileged women with “entrepreneurial instincts” who would hopefully start up their businesses with the materials provided at the programme.
He added that the company believes strongly in diversity and women inclusion and the need to empower women and other economically disadvantaged members of society.
Odushola said they would continue to monitor the beneficiaries and provide them with connections to sustain their businesses as a way of helping them stand on their feet economically.
Also speaking at the programme, a Manager at Guinness, Mrs Olanike Onakoya, said the exercise was a reflection of the company’s policy on gender inclusion and women empowerment.
Onakoya while highlighting the need for gender parity expressed hope that it would be achieved through women empowerment.
She, however, urged the beneficiaries to maximise the opportunity.
Onakoya said that the programme would not only teach the women how to maximise profits but also provide economic upliftment and improved self esteem.
Earlier, the Chief Economic Adviser to the Imo State Government, Prof. Kenneth Amaechi, commended the company for their efforts at improving the lives of women.
Amaechi added that the programme would have massive impact on the economy of the state and urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity.
Also speaking, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs Mavis Okoro, while appreciating the facilitators commended the women for recognising the benefits of participatig in the programme.
Okoro also encouraged them to put in their best and dilligently follow the guidance of their assigned supervisors to ensure they succeed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the women were given free drinks for sale, coolers and umbrellas to start up their businesses.