Empowering Women in NigeriaNigeria, a vibrant nation in West Africa, boasts a rich tapestry of culture, history and natural resources. However, amidst its diverse tapestry lies the persistent challenge of poverty, which continues to affect a significant portion of its population. A particularly concerning aspect is the impact of poverty on Nigerian women, who constitute 60% of the people living in extreme poverty and face entrenched barriers in their pursuit of economic and social empowerment. For this reason, across the nation, several organizations are centering efforts around driving progress by empowering women in Nigeria and their communities.

Women’s World Banking

Nigeria faces a significant financial inclusion gender gap, as only 35% of women and 55% of men in the country have access to financial services. Organizations like Women’s World Banking are at the forefront, implementing strategies to drive savings mobilization, leverage remittances for increased access, provide capital to women-owned enterprises and support resilience through insurance. With the help of Women’s World Banking efforts in Nigeria, the country has achieved a historic milestone with women holding the position of Chief Executive Officer in eight out of its 24 commercial banks in 2022. As women gain access to credit, savings and insurance products, they are better equipped to start businesses and improve their households’ economic stability.

Global Initiative for Girls’ Rights Education and Empowerment

Since its foundation in 2019, this NGO has been regularly implementing projects to promote education for Nigerian women and raise awareness about menstrual hygiene management. The organization’s achievements include empowering 100 rural women in Benue with skills in leadership, accounting and artisanal capabilities to improve their economic status and participation in decision-making in their homes and community.

The African Women Power Network

Through various initiatives such as pitch competitions for young entrepreneurs, agribusiness training for women farmers and the DREAM Initiative to help secondary school students develop business plans, the Association for Women in Business has become a leading platform for African women entrepreneurs, facilitating their business success and growth. Aiming to empower African women entrepreneurs by providing them with training and support, with a particular focus on technology, this organization envisions sustainable change through women empowerment.

Give Girls A Chance

This non-profit organization is dedicated to bridging the educational gap between men and women by addressing barriers such as limited access, low awareness of the significance of education and inadequate infrastructure in educational institutions. Their approach involves community and family engagement, providing need-based scholarships and offering mentorship programs. As of 2020, Give Girls A Chance has impacted the lives of more than 100 girls and young women through scholarships, enabling them to either return to or continue their education. Moreover, the organization has connected these beneficiaries with mentors who invest their time in nurturing their psychosocial well-being, fostering a supportive environment for their personal and educational growth.

The Nigerian Women Trust Fund

The proportion of women in elective and professional positions in Nigeria is currently at 4.8%. By 2027, the organization wants to realize the goal of achieving 35% female representation. Through endorsements, the creation of a database of high-profile female candidates and fundraising to support female political campaigns in Nigeria, they seek to achieve this valuable target. Further successful campaigns include the training of 100 Nigerian women in their mentorship program to foster female leadership and the end of violence against Women and Girls.

Looking Ahead

Empowering women in Nigeria is a powerful strategy in the battle against poverty. By increasing access to financial services, enhancing education opportunities, promoting women’s entrepreneurship and strengthening women’s leadership, these initiatives pave the way for a brighter and more equitable future for Nigeria. As women rise to their full potential, they become a driving force for sustainable development, lifting themselves and their communities out of poverty.

– Miriam Schuller
Photo: rawpixel

Women-Focused Bank in NigeriaIn Nigeria, an extremely small percentage of the population have their own bank accounts. Women face limited economic prospects, as Nigeria presently faces a significant gender pay gap and a lapse in financial inclusion. Only 35% of women and 55% of men have access to financial services. Addressing these issues requires a concentrated effort, but with effort, Nigeria can unlock the immense potential of the female population. Driving this economic growth can foster a more equitable and prosperous society.

The Women’s World Bank posits that fewer than 10% of Nigerians have formal credit. This issue significantly affects self-employed women, who constitute an integral segment of the economy yet suffer from restricted economic opportunities.

The First Women-Focused Bank in Nigeria

Herconomy is a bank account designed to aid women in West Africa to gain financial independence. This gives women a choice for a better future for themselves. Herconomy can help reduce poverty by giving women in West Africa the tools they need to become financially independent. When women have control of their finances, they can be a player in the economy. Freedom to pay for education, start businesses and support their families. This can lead to increased economic growth and a reduction in women’s poverty.

Founder of Herconomy Ife Durosimi-Etti believes that her solution is the key to boosting women’s financial independence. To reinforce her conviction, Herconomy’s mobile savings app can save and earn up to 10% in annual interest.

Herconomy is Nigeria’s first women-owned fintech company, dedicating its services to women entrepreneurs. Creating a better economic future to build the bank for women in Africa from their financial services. It offers a vault service that achieves automated savings, earns interest and breaks bad savings habits. The platform also offers Float services to save and withdraw, as well as aiding with saving plans for a user’s future goals.


This women-focused bank was a recipient of the Black Founders fund of $4 million for fintech startups, backed by Google. This milestone achievement will enable Herconomy to reach new markets, facilitate job creation and create more innovative fintech solutions. Women lead 72% of Herconomy, showing the pivotal impact of women when shaping Africa’s financial ecosystem.

Durosimi-Etti stated that, in the company, “We are harnessing the power of technology to address some of Africa’s most pressing challenges.” The company deepens the mission to build a women-focused bank to ensure women reach their full economic potential.

Herconomy successfully captivated the interest of 500 women participants, leading to collective savings that surpassed $100,000. This noteworthy achievement regenerates the appeal and progress of the Herconomy app which was introduced in 2022. boasting over 5,000 active savers who utilize its features to cultivate their savings habits. The substantial number of participants and the considerable amount of savings amassed are testaments to the app’s efficacy and the positive impact it has had on empowering women to take control of their financial futures.

Looking Forward

Ultimately, Herconomy facilitates the first women-focused bank in Nigeria, emerging as a pivotal landscape to erode the gender pay gap and empower and prioritize financial needs for inclusive economic growth. Herconomy signifies the importance women wield in the startup fintech economy. This new drive of innovation acts as a catalyst for women’s empowerment.

The benefit of $200,000 in cloud credits, ad support, one-on-one mentoring by industry experts and invaluable connections within Google’s network highlights the need for advocating women-focused banking.

– April Plenderleith
Photo: Flickr