Jacinta Advocates for Female Business Owners in Nigeria
Jacinta Advocates for Female Financial Independence in Nigeria
When girls are equipped with entrepreneurial skills, they’re able to achieve financial independence, build their careers, and pursue lives of their own design. Research indicates that enhancing women’s economic participation improves national economies, increases household productivity and strengthens living standards to benefit families.
Global G.L.O.W. programming introduces adolescent girls to the basic principles of entrepreneurship, offering them the chance to learn the professional skills necessary to develop, pitch, and launch their own businesses.
In a world where women are often legally restricted from having the same jobs as men, more likely to be unemployed, and globally paid less than men, these skills are crucial.
Read on to learn how 20-year-old GLOW Club graduate Jacinta in Nigeria used the tools she gained from our programming to launch not one, but two independent businesses — one of which has secured multiple investors!
Here’s her story, in her own words (condensed and edited for clarity).
In Nigeria, a Lack of Female Financial Independence
In my neighborhood in Nigeria, women predominantly assume the roles of wives, often facing limitations in their financial independence. Despite engaging in business activities, they are often unable to utilize the money they earn for themselves and their families. Their husbands often take control.
This lack of financial autonomy prompted me to strive for change and break free from these barriers.
Fortunately, I found solace and support through GLOW Club, which provided me with a valuable social network. Within this group, my mentors and fellow girls consistently offered encouragement and inspiration.
The program fostered a strong bond among girls, instilling in me the belief that I had the ability to pursue any endeavor I desired.
Although the field I aspired to enter was predominantly male-dominated, the GLOW Club program empowered me to have faith in my abilities and follow my dreams.
“The program fostered a strong bond among girls, instilling in me the belief that I had the ability to pursue any endeavor I desired.”
I emerged as a shining star, confident in my own potential.
Through my involvement in GLOW Club, I acquired essential entrepreneurial skills, including confidence and problem-solving.
Initially, when my mentor asked me to identify my skills, strengths, and passions, I was lost. But thanks to the program, I gained a deep understanding of my Personal Value Proposition, enabling me to recognize and leverage my strengths and skills effectively.
Ultimately, armed with this knowledge, I successfully launched not one, but two successful businesses.
Making Lemonade Out Of Lemons
After secondary school, I wasn’t immediately admitted to university, but I wanted to make lemonade out of lemons and see what I could do with the skills I gained through GLOW Club.
I love shoes and fashion, and I wanted to create beautiful handmade shoes that would be durable. So I started my own brand, J.medoh, which means “beautiful greatness.” Whenever you step into my shoes, you step into your greatness!
Once I started university, I also started my food business. I found out that students want their food very fast because they have to go to lectures and have a lot of other things on their schedule.
Through the GLOW Club program, we gained skills in problem-solving and learned to see problems as opportunities. I realized this was an opportunity. Maybe I could make money from this!
I launched Jmedoh’s Chop Chop as an easy go-to food for students made from organic grains. I went to the market and from my savings I bought grains and other ingredients to get started. You just put the mixture in your cup, add hot water, and you’re good to go!
This solves the problem of students not having enough time to cook and eat. My go-to food was intended for my school community, but I plan to extend my business to other schools and universities in the future.
In GLOW Club, I also learned how to pitch to investors. Each time I practiced, I was able to learn and correct mistakes.
When I pitched my business to a gentleman in my community, his response was truly inspiring.
He recognized my unwavering determination and competence in my field, and decided to invest in my venture. He was willing to take a chance on me.
This generous support enabled me to acquire the necessary equipment to significantly expand my production capabilities.
Overcoming Gender Discrimination
I’ve found that most men don’t trust my work or believe that I can actually do these things well. There was once a man who told me he wouldn’t buy my products simply because I was a girl!
When I first was learning, I had so many people ask me why I was learning something that was man’s work. It was emotionally draining, but I grew determined despite these comments.
“By launching my businesses, I’ve been able to encourage other girls and women in my community to use their skills to do something better for themselves.”
By launching my businesses, I’ve been able to encourage other girls and women in my community to use their skills to do something better for themselves.
There is nothing I can’t do. I have a dream, and I’m going to follow it and be the best that I can.
I’m going to inspire other girls.
If I quit, then this stereotype that girls can’t do a man’s work will continue for generations.
My Advice for Girls and Women
I’m very passionate about female financial independence. I want to be an inspiration and an example. Being dependent on someone for resources makes you vulnerable to people taking advantage of you.
I want to advocate for women and girls to become financially independent.
I want to tell other girls to actually go for their dream. To be the best in what you love, you have to do it constantly. Never give up no matter what people say. Never ever give up, and always be ready to learn from your mistakes.
Special thanks to Nigeria Reads, who operate Global G.L.O.W. programming in safe, small group after-school sessions for Jacinta and other youth participants with trusted local mentors.
Global G.L.O.W. partners with community-based organizations in 30 countries to operate mentorship-driven programs for girls ages 10-18. Our SEL-based curriculum gives girls the tools to express themselves, advocate for their rights, and challenge the most critical barriers to achieving gender equality. Support our work at globalgirlsglow.org/donate.