Thursday, February 2, 2017

I Am Positioning To Become The 1st Female Grassroot Social Entrepreneur in #Nigeria – Lydia Aromolaran

My name is Lydia Aromolaran, born in Lagos state on a special day, 1st January 1977 into a humble family of Mr. and Mrs. Oyewole. 
I obtained Higher National Diploma (HND) in accounting from Federal Polytechnic Nassarawa State. In other to build my entrepreneurial skill I enroll for a certificate in entrepreneurial management course CEM at Enterprise Development Center of Pan Africa University through the World Bank scholarship. I had two statement of accomplishment from Cousera after completing The World Bank Group MOOC on Financing for Development and Engaging Citizens: A Game Changer for Development. I also have a statement of accomplishment from London Business School.
I am the COO of Yoly Nigeria Limited an airtime vending and Distribution Company as well as mobile money super-agent for both Ecobank Nig Ltd. and Diamond Bank Nig. Plc/MTN Nigeria presently.
 In May 2014, the company was appointed by Ecobank as one of the aggregators/super-agents to handle the Millennium Development Goal Conditional Cash Transfer (MDG-CCT) disbursement project in selected rural communities within the FCT area councils. This was a 12-month project.

In May 2014, the company was appointed by Ecobank as one of the aggregators/super-agents to handle the Millennium Development Goal Conditional Cash Transfer (MDG-CCT) disbursement project in selected rural communities within the FCT area councils. This was a 12-month project.
Due to its enviable track record in driving mobile money adoption, evidenced by the number of subscribers the company was able to onboard to the Ecobank mobile money scheme, MTN Nigeria recruited the company in August 2014 to drive the Diamond Bank Mobile Money (Diamond Yellow Account) Public Awareness Campaign in Abuja, Niger and Nassarawa state.
Due to its remarkable performance in the MDG-CCT project, the company was again appointed by Ecobank to handle cash-disbursement using mobile money for the USAID-funded project; Support to Vulnerable Households for Accelerated Revenue Earning (SHARE) aimed at reducing the poverty levels.
 Faith – Complete trust and confidence in God has kept me going
 Passion – I am so passionate about what I do even though it takes a lot of explanations of my dream to people 
 Determination – I made up my mind to never go back
Life is about contribution, not consumption; it is about relevance, not significance’. Life is not about getting from people, but it is about giving out to people, reaching out to them. Life is about service, not status; it is about sacrifices, not surplus. It is about giving, not just receiving. Life is about responsibility, and the right attitude to life is a responsibility that we owe our destiny.
This is part of the reality of life that made me start a social enterprise focusing more on Micro Small and Medium Businesses mostly in the semi-urban areas and rural communities where we have the unbanked and underbanked. Most of these business owners do not have any form of financial records.
My Husband, he is my support and my backboneAlthough I knew who I am, I build my self-esteem and I got the intelligence support of my God sent husband in my success journey.
Alysia Silberg is my mentor she is the first to appreciate my work on social media for encouragement. She has been a self-driven serial entrepreneur, strategist, mentor, successful TEDx and keynote speaker, mathematician and co-owner of multiple successful enterprises. She is an expert in passionately leading and empowering teams and building data driven solutions for numerous multinational companies. 
M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer and microfinancing service, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya. It allows users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money and pay for goods and services easily with a mobile device. M-Pesa is a branchless service whereby customers can deposit and withdraw money from a network of agents that includes airtime resellers and retail outlets acting as banking agents.

To be recognized globally as the first female Grassroots Social Entrepreneur. To build viable, effective, and accessible agent networks in rural communities and semi-urban areas of Nigeria and also empowering micro small and medium enterprises through digital financial services.
I am a member of Neca’s Network of Entrepreneur Women (NNEW), Alumni of Enterprise Development Center of Pan Africa University and a Mentor on Cherie Blair Foundation platform.
The establishment of active agents in these communities will both create jobs and also increase the income lines available to them. Most agents have a primary business and agency comes in as an additional source of income because of the commission. Also, some members of the community with proven integrity can be recruited as agents, thereby creating jobs for them.
Agents will also need to recruit additional hands as the business expands, thereby creating employment opportunities in the community.
Building an effective agent network is both capitals intensive and costly. Despite the zeal and willingness to establish viably and an active agent, outlets lack the funds to invest in this project.  The funds generated from the primary business of the company are not sufficient to meet the running cost and to invest in establishing agent outlets across states in the country.
Family time is foremost on my list and I treasure the moments I spend with my family and friends. I indulge in so many guilty pleasures whenever I have the opportunity such as going on movie “dates” with my family.
By being better connected, women feel safer, find employment, start businesses, access banks, and learn about market prices and altogether benefit socially and economically.
Women empowerment is one of the utmost actions that can bring about rapid development in our society.
Empowering women educationally can give women voice and ability to get engaged in creating an enabling environment for strategic development
If I have any opportunity to empower women in the rural community I will be fulfilled because I am passionate about doing that.  I will like to contribute my little experience to humanitarian work and to develop my skill.
According to the National Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria with an estimated population of about 160Million has over 140million active mobile lines according to the monthly subscriber data report for 15th April 2015 posted on their website. Also, according to the CBN financial inclusion report, only about 21% of the population has access to banking services, while over 74% have never been banked.
From the above data, we can safely say that there are so many people out there seriously in need of a convenient, reliable and accessible financial service that will accommodate their needs. The question then is; how can we leverage on the impressive mobile phone penetration to bring the much needed financial services to the people, especially those in the rural areas?
With the high penetration of mobile phones, therefore, it is easier to introduce a financial service that leverages on this technology and that is what we intend to achieve.
It will be easier to get the people to adopt a system that leverages on what they already have (mobile phone) than an entirely new system.

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