Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Sisters Supporting Sisters: Linda Ikeji gives N5 Million to Support Fellow Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs


Back in January this year, Linda Ikeji (widely considered to be Nigeria's most popular blogger) launched her 'I'd Rather Be Self-Made' project' which she first told her readers about back in 2013. 

With this project, Linda pledged to 'personally mentor young girls with dreams and aspirations and help some of them start up small scale businesses...... ‘I'd Rather Be Self-made' is not a foundation, or an organization... it's just me and some young ladies meeting whenever we can, inspire each other, exchange business ideas, and if I feel someone has a great business idea and it's not going to cost too much to start the business, I will personally finance it. Not as a loan, it's 100% to the person. I'm looking at N250k to N1million per person, depending on how great the business idea is. If you need less, you will get the money faster...:-). I'll also use LIB to promote your businesses. All I want in return is for you to work hard, make a success of your business and pay it forward...i.e help others. And if you ever see me on the street after you make it, you can say hello or give me a hug...:-)

Credit: Linda Ikeji's Blog

What prompted me to think of doing this is my own story and the lifestyle of some young girls. It's quite unfortunate and sad. I went to University of Lagos, I was once a model and a model manager, so I have seen some things girls do for money and it breaks my heart. Some, if I told you, you will never believe. And now that I can afford to help a few girls, I am willing to help with my own money. The aim of 'I'd Rather Be Self-made' is to reduce 'Aristorism' [young girls sleeping with older men for money] by at least 1%...:-)... So I'm putting aside N10 million for this - to start with - and release more money if everything goes well....'  You can read the full original January post in which she describes the project and criteria for entry etc here.

Credit: Linda Ikeji's Blog

Anyhooo, fast forward a few months and good old Linda has made good on her promise! Today she posted on her blog that N5 million of the annual N10 million (OF HER OWN PERSONAL MONEY) set aside for this project has been allocated to 15 girls with the remainder of the sum to be allocated over the course of the year, and with the promise of further funds to be released once the initial N10 million is exhausted.

'This money is 100% my own money. I didn't collect a dime from anyone. I want to first give away this N10million and see what the girls do with it before getting others involved. I'm truly hoping to make a new set of self made women and like I said when I stared this, I plan to do this for as long as I can. Once this N10million is exhausted, I will bring out more money.'

Credit: Linda Ikeji's Blog

Not only has Linda provided financial support for these women, she also promised to use her platform to promote their businesses. Now, money aside, this opportunity in itself is mega! As mentioned earlier, Linda is arguably the most well known blogger in Nigeria. Nigeria (not to mention the diaspora) has an estimated population of over N180 million... so you can imagine the publicity that this platform affords a budding entrepreneur. People pay HUGE sums just for banner adverts on her blog, not to mention a full on feature/endorsement on it!

And as if that was not enough... 'Also, I told the ladies/beneficiaries that if I see that their business is going well and they are really dedicated and extremely serious about succeeding, I will pump in more money into their businesses and by the end of 1 year, any lady who has most succeeded with the little they got to set up their business, will get an additional N1million. Two of them will actually get N1million each.... I really, really want more women to succeed, to be more independent, to make their own money, and to stop sleeping with men for money. And I will do everything I can to help as many ladies as I can.'  You can read the full post here.

Credit: Linda Ikeji's Blog

It really appears that Linda is doing whatever she can to spread the love and promote sisterhood! I cannot commend her enough. Really... I am so inspired an enamoured by her! She is my #WCE (that's Woman Crush Everyday... in case mummy is reading and getting lost in the lingo) and totally #MyInspiration! 

Ladies.... we really need to take a leaf out of Linda's book! Together we are stronger, not only for us, but for our children. The woman is the home and where it all starts and ends. If we are right, what we nurture and raise is right! We need to be more like Linda and support each other! Especially in this day and age where the idea of strong dependable black men to support us and the family is really on the decline! It's all about sisterhood!

I hope you were inspired by Linda... and if you have ANY ideas on how we can go about networking to support each other... please get in touch. BlackCleopatra is all about celebrating, promoting and empowering black women. So as much as possible black women who are trying to be self-made will always be featured here...

Thanks for reading....

Stay confident and beautiful...


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