To raise funds to help 10 Nigerian entrepreneurs access training and buy the tools they need to re-build their lives, with the help of local organization Girls Inspired. After surviving trafficking, a group of women were looking for some financial support and business training to help them set up and scale their microbusinesses. Financial security and independence are of the utmost importance to trafficking survivors who are trying to recover from their experiences and avoid further exploitation.
Freedom United partnered with Girls Inspired to design and implement an initiative that would help women who were recovering from trafficking to build their financial security and avoid further exploitation.
Girls Inspired identified women across the Nigerian states of Lagos, Edo, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti and Osun who could benefit from the initiative. They had been trafficked and exploited in countries such as Libya, Oman and Lebanon, and were trying to re-build their lives. Back home in Nigeria, they were planning to launch or scale their own microbusinesses, but required some training and financial support to move forward.
Together with Girls Inspired, we shared their stories and business plans with the Freedom United community who responded with solidarity and generosity. We asked for donations to be able to distribute grants among the entrepreneurs, and to help Girls Inspired to provide training and support as they embarked on their projects.
The fundraiser was a massive success! Between January and March 2022, the Freedom United community came together to raise USD 6,207.27 for the initiative, surpassing our initial target by double. This meant we could help 20 women, instead of 10!
The outpouring of financial support was coupled with a constant flow of messages of support and solidarity from all over the world, which we presented to the entrepreneurs too.
Then Girls Inspired launched the initiative with great enthusiasm. They assessed the beneficiaries’ business and funding needs to ensure the training and support would be as effective as possible. They then designed and conducted a short training course that covered a range of relevant skills and information, including bookkeeping, marketing, business strategy and savings advice.
Having successfully completed the training, Girls Inspired presented them with their business grants.
They used the funds to further their businesses in different ways. For example, one woman purchased a second-hand sewing machine to help her progress in her fashion business. Now she no longer has to rent one. Another woman invested in equipment and accessories for her hairstyling business. A third woman was able to stock her snack shop.
The women who participated in the program were extremely grateful to the Freedom United community. Some wanted us to share these messages with you:
“I am excited and grateful to the sponsors. I will grow my business with it and make you proud.”
“I have been going through thick and thin as a single mother and survivor. With this grant, I can equip my hair accessories business. I am grateful for this support. God bless you and your communities.”
“My profound gratitude to the funders, organisers and facilitators for the consideration to support human trafficking survivors. I appreciate this and would give the business my best.”
“This grant will help me achieve my long-awaited plans of growing my fashion business. Thank you to all the partners that made this happen.”
“God bless the sponsors and organisers of the program. I really appreciate it and will definitely put the funds to good use.”
We are very grateful to everyone who got involved, donating and sharing the fundraiser, and sending messages of support. We also hugely appreciate the work of Girls Inspired, and their willingness to help us get involved.