Shakti Women Empowerment Programme

In 2014, the gender focused Shakti Nigeria (Gbemiga) programme was launched in Ibadan (Oyo State) by Unilever, Nigeria in consonance with the United Nations’ objective of reducing the number of people living below the $2 a day poverty line, through the creation of businesses, employment and an increase in the likely of sustainable income generation.

The Shakti Nigeria (Gbemiga/Mbuli) programme was launched in 2014 and expanded in scope to 4 States by 2015, empowering 1,000 women beyond the 100 pilot in Ibadan, Oyo State; and now is being scaled progressively throughout the Northern region of Nigeria in 2017 cumulatively in 10 states with 2,000 direct beneficiaries and expanding in implementing communities.

Project Purpose:
The Women Empowerment Programme is a collaboration of Unilever Plc and Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF). The project is funded by Unilever Plc and implemented by GBF as its grassroots network partner and is designed towards empowering women via a product loan model.

  • Women Empowerment Programme is a Revolutionary shift in the way Unilever carry out Distribution in the Hinterlands.
  • It involves Winning by Doing Good.
  • It represents innovation in Unilever business processes to change lives in rural Nigeria by providing income generating opportunities to the under privileged women and to use the network to create hygiene awareness in the community.

Program Objectives
Overarching objectives is to reach semi-urban areas that were untapped i.e. to develop an innovative business process to connect with lives in Rural Nigeria via development of capacity and access to capital.


  • GBF management and execution of the Programme has built capabilities that will empowered the participants, leverage processes and adapt technology (end game) that fostered a culture of passion, results, integrity, discipline and positive impact socio-economic by empowering 2,000 women in Enugu, Imo, Ogun, Ebonyi, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Benue and Nasarawa States with Unilever Products.

Date: 2014 – Date

  • Funders and Partners: Unilever Nigeria, GAIN (Global Health For Improved Nutrition), Society for Family Health (SFH), PSI and BOPInc.
  • Locations: Enugu, Imo, Ogun, Ebonyi, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Benue and Nasarawa
  • Communities: Over 280 in the South East, South West, South South and Middle-belt regions of Nigeria
  • Over Local Government Areas (LGAs) Covered: 50