As part of Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) diversity and inclusion efforts, the leading consumer goods company, in partnership with WEConnect International, has expanded its supplier diversity initiative to include the third edition of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP). The program aims to bring more women-owned businesses into the supply chain by training women entrepreneurs by providing them with the necessary skills to gain a competitive advantage,
This intensive two-month program is led by P&G experts and external partners, including Oxford Brooks University. More than 42 women entrepreneurs have been trained to develop their skills and build a range of skills to develop their businesses. The seven-module curriculum covers development topics such as business strategy, strategic collaboration, leadership skills, procurement processes, building social capital, pitching, and digital marketing.
Mokutima Ajileye, Country Manager of P&G Nigeria, said about the impact of the program
“WEDP is aimed at achieving equal representation of men and women in an inclusive environment, where they can deliver their full capabilities. Nigeria is a country of huge potential, yet women have been systematically excluded and disadvantaged.
Through this program, we aim to economically empower women with the right tools and knowledge needed to grow their businesses and offer opportunities for them to provide solutions to multinationals across the country. As an organization, P&G is committed to inclusive growth and removing barriers to girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment, and we will not relent in our efforts to support Nigerian women to thrive.”
WEConnect International has been working with Procter & Gamble on P&G’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP) in Nigeria and around the world since 2017. The organization have together worked to develop over 500 women-owned businesses in 11 countries since it started.
Patricia Langan, WEConnect International Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East, said;
“The 2021 Nigerian program had an impressive turnout with 42 women-owned businesses excited to learn from P&G experts. Feedback from the participants in 11 states in Nigeria has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Aisha-Claire Alkali, CEO of The Charcoal Grill restaurant and Coffee lounge and also a WEDP Participant, talks about the impact of the project.
“Being selected to attend the WEDP programs sincerely was a privilege. It was one program that I looked forward to every Monday. The speakers were on point and I learned a lot that will surely impact my business. It was an amazing experience with great illustrations, given by well-experienced speakers. It is a privilege to know that women empowerment is a big deal to P&G and I’m proud that I benefited from it and it’s well appreciated.”
WEDP supports gender equality and supplier diversity, key pillars of P&G’s citizen initiatives. The program reaffirms P&G’s commitment to intentionally diversifying its supply chain by working directly with women-owned companies. By empowering women-led companies, the program diversifies P&G’s supply chain and drives real and sustainable impact on the communities in which P&G operates.
“To achieve our goal of having a transformative impact in our business and in our society, empowering women and enabling them to contribute their quota in the national economy is critical. This is part of our #weseeequal commitment to increasing the participation of women-owned enterprises in global value chains and doubling our spending on women-owned enterprises over the next three years. said Temitope Iluemi, P&G Senior Director for Africa, Global Government Relations and Public Policy.”
The WEDP program is the latest in a series of P&G partnerships with relevant international and local organizations, government ministries, agencies and institutions to empower women in Nigeria and across Africa.