Aisha Babangida is a businesswoman and humanitarian dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial and economic growth in Nigeria and beyond.
Over the course of her career she has culled a few key insights into the state of finance today, particularly in regards to female entrepreneurs, which have inspired her to tailor her work accordingly.
Since Aisha took over the Better Life Program for the African Rural Woman (founded by her late mother in 1986), she has worked tirelessly to create new opportunities for women so that they can become self-reliant members of their families and of their societies at large. The Program tackles every area of life in order to empower women:
- Reducing hunger and poverty in rural areas;
- Influencing overall development and governance at the rural level;
- Confronting gender disparity by establishing capacity-building programs for women;
- Focus on agriculture-related programs that will be a boon to the economy.
For Aisha, one of the most significant bastions of progress in these areas is the creation of Egwafin Microfinance Bank.
What I discovered is lacking for women in entrepreneurship are mentorship and access to finance. Unfortunately some commercial banks do not have products specifically tailored to the requirements of a woman. So we set out to address this ecosystem holistically.
By developing the microfinance bank as a resource for “unbankable” women who need resources and support, Aisha is helping to empower a whole new generation of rural entrepreneurs, while stimulating local economies overall. The Better Life Program will next set up financial initiatives to cater to urban women across Africa who wish to run small or medium enterprises as well.
Aisha understands that international influence and growth is crucial for the economies of countries across Africa. She has plenty of international business experience herself, which informs the decisions she makes on behalf of the Bank and of the Better Life Program. She has formed a productive alliance with the Global Shea Alliance promoted by USAid to promote the shea nut industry in Nigeria to the rest of the world.
Aisha is also the Founder of the Tasnim Foundation. From 2014 to 2017 she was Director of North Link Insurance Company, and Mentor at the Mara Foundation. From 2013 to 2017 she was on the Governing Council of the University of Abuja. She studied Leadership at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, and studied Accounting and Finance for Non Financial Managers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She also studied at INSEAD (“The Business School for the World”), Webster University, the American University of Paris, Villa Pierrefeu, and even earned the enviable “Escofier Chef” title from Escofier Ritz Paris.
Aisha Babangida created this blog to share her insights on finance. Check back soon to get her perspective on the crucial economic role of agriculture, the power of female entrepreneurs, and the opportunities that microfinance banks offer!