How Bolt is supporting female entrepreneurship to drive socio-economic growth

For an economy that receives most of its contribution from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it is important that small businesses, especially female-led businesses, are helped to thrive.

How Bolt is supporting female entrepreneurship to drive socio-economic growth

Data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that SMEs account for about 48% of Nigeria’s GDP and are reported to employ a larger percentage of the population.

A significant number of women see entrepreneurship as a path to a better future and strive to transform their aspirations into resilient growing businesses. That’s why it is crucial to unlock the growth potential of women, empower them financially, boost economic growth, and create a more equitable society.

Recognizing the important contribution of small businesses to Nigeria’s economy, Bolt has remained committed to promoting entrepreneurship in the country. One way in which the ride-hailing company has done this efficiently is by supporting SMEs with rewarding initiatives. What Bolt offers is an opportunity for hardworking Nigerians to create something tangible for themselves. With the flexibility to be their own boss and without commitment to strict working hours, Nigerians have the freedom to retain their main employment and supplement their income with their small businesses.

In celebration of the 2022 International Women’s Day, Bolt Nigeria hosted women in Bolt Nigeria and Lagos State Ministry of Transport for a workshop themed, “Becoming a Better You the Bolt Style to Break the Bias.” The workshop provided the women with tools to navigate and overcome biases women face in the line of duty.

The highlight of the event was the donation Bolt made in the sum of N500,000 to STEM METS Resources Limited, a non-governmental agency (NGO) focused on training high school students in STEM. STEM METS is a social enterprise committed to nurturing, enriching and inspiring young minds by providing quality, innovative and alternative educational learning platforms. The NGO was co-founded by Jadesola Adedeji, a social entrepreneur with a dream to change what education looks like in Nigeria through STEM.

The Bolt team continues to take steps to uphold its company-wide goal to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This commitment is also reflected in Bolt’s Drive for Women in Tech (#Drive4WITech) internship initiative, created to provide equal opportunities for women in technology and improve overall gender equality in the mobility sector. The initiative includes an internship programme for young women who choose to start a career in technology regardless of their existing educational background.

The programme was first launched in 2021 and recorded great success with massive participation. At the end of the programme, some of the interns were retained in full-time positions by the company. The 2022 internship programme aims to extend the achievement of the Bolt initiative and further bridge the gender gap in the technology sector.

Interestingly, as Bolt provides opportunities for young women in tech, the company’s service also provides earning opportunities for women who defy social norms to earn their living as Bolt drivers. In a recent chat with Aisosa Ekhayeme, a female Bolt driver based in Benin, she shared how she, a beautician, could supplement her income by driving on the platform in her free time. This allowed her to enjoy the flexibility of earning on Bolt while running her small business.

Before joining the platform, Aisosa was a beautician; make-up artist, and hairstylist. She started driving on Bolt during her days off work to keep herself busy. After realising the opportunity and returns she earned, she decided to drive full-time on the platform and was among the four drivers who won a brand-new car in the Bolt Driver’s League Challenge.

Lorine Ndidi Briggs, the CEO of Kountry Temptations, is a Bolt Food vendor who has a full-time job but runs her online restaurant on Bolt food. She started her business in October 2021 after a trip to Ghana where she first witnessed Bolt Food. She was amazed by the order and delivery process on the Bolt Food platform and started her own food business when she returned to Nigeria. Kountry Temptations has gone on to provide local delicacies to Nigerians and has now achieved the top-rated badge on the Bolt Food platform within a short time.

For Lorine, Bolt Food is a strong part of her success story because the platform allowed her to cater to a broad market without incurring costs on advertising. This is similar to Nigeria’s premium fitness-focused food brand, FitLife Café. Run by three fast friends turned partners, the business has also enjoyed economies of scale. Uche Nwokeji, a co-founder, revealed that FitLife Café has benefited from the Bolt Food platform.

Bolt continues to enhance productivity with its female-focused initiatives while fostering economic growth. Bolt is committed to unlocking the growth potential of female entrepreneurs.

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