The Asteven Group has commended the Women Initiative for Sustainable Environment (WISE), an NGO, for building an army of women and girls’ green entrepreneurs in Kaduna State.
Dr Sunny Akpoyibo, the Chief Executive Officer of Asteven Group, a leading force in the field of renewable energy in Nigeria, gave the commendation at a symposium in Kaduna on Saturday, August 26, 2023.
The one-day symposium on financial literacy and green innovative micro financing held under the theme: “Boosting Green Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Livelihood for Women and Girls.”
It was organised by WISE, to equip women and girls on green living, green investment opportunities, and financing mechanisms for the development of sustainable business.
Other areas included green microfinancing, facilitating access to micro-credit for start-ups and how to scale of green enterprise.
Akpoyibo, in a keynote address, described women-led renewable energy solutions and business opportunities to power the country as a “call to action”.
He said that women have consistently proven their prowess as agents of change, and the renewable energy sector was no exception.
He added that, from solar to wind to bioenergy, women have the capacity to lead innovations that can power the nation and beyond.
According to him, the benefits are multifaceted, touching not only the environment but also social equity and economic progress.
“The theme of today’s symposium resonates deeply with the core values and mission of Asteven Group.
“Our journey in the realm of renewable energy has been fueled by the belief in the transformative power of green entrepreneurship.”
He explained that green entrepreneurship was not just about harnessing the potential of clean and sustainable energy sources, but also about empowering individuals, especially women and girls.
This, according to him, would enable them to take charge of their own destinies through innovative initiatives that propel both economic growth and environmental preservation.
He said that the initiative undertaken by WISE under the COVID and Climate Resilience Programme reflects a forward-thinking approach to addressing the interconnected challenges of our time.
“As we navigate the intricacies of a changing climate and a global pandemic, it is imperative that we channel our efforts toward financial literacy, sustainable business models, and green microfinancing.
“These are not just buzzwords, but the pillars upon which our shared future rests,” he said.
Akpoyibo said that the more than 350 women and girls at the symposium were part of a movement that has the potential to reshape industries, communities, and lives.
He pointed out that the world was undergoing a profound transition, adding their active involvement in embracing green entrepreneurship would leave an indelible mark on the society.
“The challenges we face are great, but the opportunities they present are even greater,” he said.
Earlier, the Executive Director, WISE, Mrs Olanike Olugboji-Daramola, said that man had over the years abused the use of natural resources and lived in disharmony with nature.
Olugboji-Daramola said that a lot of people lost their means of livelihood to COVID-19, adding that climate change was also taking its toll on agricultural production and food security.
She said that the symposium was aimed at building women’s resilience being the most affected by the impact of climate change and the impact of COVID-19.
She disclosed that WISE had partnered with financial institutions to enable women to access micro financing support to invest in green solutions for sustainable income.
She called on women to key into the value chain of renewable energy, noting that it was the future.
“We want women to imbibe the culture of saving and investment in the face of climate change.
“There are a lot of opportunities in the renewable energy sector which could be tapped amidst climate challenges.
“One could invest in agriculture, sell solar lamps or energy efficient cooking stoves, or provide solutions to the climate crisis,” she said.
By Sani Idris