28 young African entrepreneurs graduate from a 10-week e-commerce training

Following a high-intensity 10-week training on e-commerce and e-marketing, 28 entrepreneurs from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia graduated on the 7th of September 2021 and are ready to take their agro-processing and cosmetics businesses to the next level.

With the advent of the digital era, it has become more imperative for entrepreneurs to be equipped with the relevant knowledge and skills. AWIEF partnered with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Opportunities for Youth in Africa (OYA) and West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) Ghana to launch the Executive E-marketing Programme in June earlier this year.

Training programme
During the 10-week training programme, the entrepreneurs were empowered with the much-needed e-commerce skills and tools to grow their small businesses. Learning themes from the programme included an understanding of what e-commerce and e-marketing are as well as the benefits of re-adapting your business model and strategy to integrate these systems. The current digital era we live in means that, as entrepreneurs, we need to be open to change and transformation on a frequent basis to ensure we keep up with the times.

Graduation event
During the graduation event, Mr. Juan Pablo Davila, UNIDO Industrial Development Expert, congratulated the entrepreneurs for completing the training programme and investing their time to gain this knowledge. He believes the knowledge gained will help them build better.

Irene Ochem, founder and CEO of AWIEF, expressed her gratitude to UNIDO for the  continued partnership in empowering businesses with very relevant skills in one of Africa’s growing sectors, e-commerce. “There are vast opportunities in this sector. It has been great to have some of our AWIEF women entrepreneurs included in this learning opportunity. Also, the fact that 75% of the participants in this training were women, is very heart-warming as we want to see a rise in the inclusion of females in Africa.”

What the entrepreneurs had to say
The programme has already made a huge impact on a lot of businesses, with many of them witnessing exponential growth on their online platforms. Through this programme they also got an opportunity to network and interact with others in the same sector and from different countries. Below are some of the testimonials:

“I thoroughly enjoyed doing this course, it was very engaging and informative. I managed to improve my social media pages and increased my brand visibility in my own country and as well as globally. I also got to interact with many brilliant minds, my peers from whom I learnt many best practices in the digital space. I now feel that I am ready to take on the world by building a sustainable business through the various e-marketing platforms.” – Ms. Hellen Ngwira, (HNM Spices)

“Thank you very much for this opportunity. In the beginning it was very hard to find the balance and time to go through the tasks and learn the new tools, but once I got into the course, I started enjoying and loving it. It has really opened me up to the huge possibilities that e-commerce has for my business. I have already started experiencing these possibilities, as I just signed up 2 new paying members through social media. This has been a plus for me to realise that there is an actual market out there for my business. A market that I can connect with through e-commerce. It’s been interesting to see my business grow from not making any sales to now gaining paying customers.” – Ms. Zindaba Hanazala, (Mulimni)


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