In line with the purpose of the brand and in furtherance of its enduring legacy of superior products providing more fragrance, more foam and more cleaning power, to lessen the burden of housework and continue affording many women the time and peace of mind to achieve more, Sunlight, the leading household brand has restated its commitment to empower and make a significant difference to women entrepreneurs by supporting women-owned businesses in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, Sunlight runs a programme called Shakti, an initiative whereby women in rural areas are provided products to resell to households in their communities, making a profit and generating an income stream for themselves. In addition, the brand has partnered with Leading Ladies Africa, a women-focused non-profit, to recognize women across different business spheres.
Speaking during a brand purpose workshop organized for the media in Lagos on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, the Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director, Unilever West Africa, Soromidayo George, said, “the goal of the Sunlight Shakti programme is to help African women achieve financial security and move from low-income to middle-income thereby bolstering their independence.”
On his part, the Category Manager, Homecare, Oladapo Oshuntoye, disclosed that thousands of rural women have already been empowered in Nigeria since the launch of the Shakti programme in 2004 and provided seed capital in the form of Unilever products, business training and funding for women thereby improving the livelihoods of rural areas. He stated that the vision for the Sunlight brand in Africa is to empower 500,000 women by 2025.
“We are excited to reaffirm our commitment to empowering more women in Nigeria as it truly unifies our efforts to deliver more to Nigerian women, both inside and outside the home. We look forward to launching more activities that meet African women’s different needs in business. Across the country, Sunlight continues to do more through various programmes that empower women-owned businesses and move the needle in limiting barriers to success,” he said.
“Sunlight believes that supporting women-owned businesses across all stages of their entrepreneurial journey will help shift the general, usually limited; perception society assigns them. We want to do our part in unlocking their potential so that they can thrive and contribute to a bold narrative about women’s success both in and outside the home,” continued Oshuntoye.
The Shakti program articulates Sunlight’s work across the African continent, building communities of women entrepreneurs who want to do more and achieve more. The rollout of the various programmes has been country-specific, targeting women’s unique challenges.
Sunlight will roll out further activities across the continent over the next three years to support entrepreneurial African women. These activities will be specific to the needs of various communities. They will cover a multitude of support, including training and development, funding, mentorship and coaching, and start-up support, to mention a few.