Oando Foundation has charged female and budding entrepreneurs to look out and embrace strategic partnerships with local and international organisations, to gain from the immense benefits therein.
The Foundation Head, Adekanla Adegoke, gave the charge at the 2019 Women in Development Summit, a network of women working in the social sector, which held in Lagos, recently.
Leveraging on good partnerships, she added that this would not only leapfrog new organisations to greater development, but also ensure their continuous and steady success.
She said the foundation understands the power of a well thought-out partnership and leveraged on it.
Presenting a paper on, “Strategic Alliances: Activating Partnerships Between Nonprofits and Businesses,” Adegoke encouraged mentees to have a global outlook to their social work without losing focus of local programming implementation approaches and their operating environment.
Think global, act local, cultivate strategic and sustainable partnerships were the summary of the numerous tips she gave to mentees during the master class session. She also spoke on the power of association through volunteering activities and the need to be passionate about the cause they choose to support.
The 2019 edition, which was themed “Women-led Business as a Tool for Social change and Nation building” had a faculty of women speaking on various topics, such as “Are Women Entrepreneurs Ready to Drive Social Change in Nigeria? What would it Take? “New Media: Platforms for Entrepreneurial Opportunity.”
Hosted by Ideation Hub Africa, the summit is a high-octane networking conference for women working across Africa on development and social-change in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social enterprise, public sector as well as corporate organisations; providing a rallying point for change-makers working actively for social good.
Citing the Foundation’s investment in basic education, she said: “When Oando Foundation, an independent charity established by Oando Plc, began operations in 2011, it learnt from international development agencies already working in the Nigerian education space that public schools needed at least eight years of holistic intervention to see significant results. This formed the premise upon which the Foundation’s school adoption model was designed – to run effective non- profits, structure, networking and providing evidence are all important.”
Apart from funding, Adegoke said the Foundation provides for its adopted schools, and leverages strategic partnerships with various local/international organisations to bring in more resources to the schools.
For instance, she cited the Foundation’s partnership with Sumitomo Chemical, one of Japan’s leading chemical companies, which resulted in the provision of ICT centres in three of its adopted schools annually since 2017, impacting over 7,000 beneficiaries to date.
She encouraged the participants, who were mostly young women in the development sector, to operate well-structured NGOs to attract productive and sustainable partnership in the interest of their core beneficiaries.
Founder of Ideation Hub, Mrs Debola Deji-Kurunmi, said the programme was organised to expose entrepreneurs and those in the development sector to build their capacity to deliver impact.
“We want to grow the capacity of development practitioners, young corporate leaders, social entrepreneurs to deliver impact; to succeed in their work. But we also want to see entrepreneurs partner with NGOs so that they can provide support and funding, and solving a problem they are also passionate about,” she said.