Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) USA in partnership with Women Initiative for Sustainable Environment (WISE) Nigeria organized a training program for Kaduna State Women on Clean Cookstoves from May 24 – 28, 2017 at Jacaranda Farm Resort in Kaduna State. The event was an opportunity to promote women leadership and entrepreneurship, gender equality and contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the event, women entrepreneurial skill was built on clean cookstoves distribution and they formed a network to advocate for clean cooking at the local and national levels. As part of the event, a one-day ‘Cookstoves Fair’ was held where some partners of Nigerian Alliance for clean cookstove exhibited their products. The fair facilitated face-to-face business interaction between participants and manufacturers of clean cookstoves. 30 women entrepreneurs were paired in twos, forming a team of 15. Each team plans to commit to a specific action plan for the year of training in order to develop and scale their business and outreach program. The organizers will give a grant of N105,000 to each team to kick-start the procurement of clean cookstoves, provide follow-up support for each team, and link them to micro-finance for loans to scale up their businesses.
Women were chosen because they are typically the primary household energy managers and they have more interpersonal interactions with other members of their communities than men. It is expected that through this training, the women entrepreneurs will reach about 13,000 people in Kaduna State in the next one year. This will help empower fellow women leaders in their communities, and break the structural barriers which limit the success of renewable energy initiatives around the world.
This initiative is highly commended by the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves as it will also contribute to the realization of its goal.