In September, a Forbe’s report said Grayce & Co, partnered with the qualitative market research firm Beacon Insight, to ask 2,000 millennial women about their relationship to brands and how they felt about themselves, their community and the world. The agency learned that women who control $18 billion in global spending can actually be fiercely loyal to brands – but only if brands conduct their business in a way that aligns with their values.

According to the report a woman lives her own life her way, but wants to be part of an interdependent community. She craves authentic connection. She is also more “connected” and reliant on technology than any other generation – she spends 6.5 hours per week on social media alone, and 12 hours more per week on her smartphone than with her partner.

Foremost financial institution in Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has undoubtedly latched on to the knowledge that a woman wants to be loyal to the brands that come her way and she wants to be independent.

Recently, to prove this and to promote the of entrepreneurial spirit in women, the bank partnered with House of Tara in organising the event “1000 Voices” to celebrate and promote female youth entrepreneurship. The was organised to explore and promote the rich opportunities in the cosmetic industry whilst encouraging participants to leverage this opportunity to achieve economic empowerment. House of Tara International was established in 1998 by Tara Fela-Durotoye and has since set up over 10,000 micro beauty entrepreneurs. The event “1000 Voices” is a platform specially designed to celebrate and reward the top 1000 beauty entrepreneurs and sales representatives.

Key players in the cosmetic industry including investors, beauty entrepreneurs, make-up artists, retailers and other stakeholders to celebrate innovation, creativity and commercial successes in the growing beauty and cosmetic industry in the country graced the event. The event was tailored to promote entrepreneurial excellence within Nigeria’s beauty space as it builds on House of Tara’s 2013 ‘100 Voices’ campaign, which focused on celebrating individuals who have contributed to the development of the beauty ecosystem, despite the odds.

The event had plenary sessions with FirstBank and Google Nigeria, as well as other notable brands, to deliberate on subjects such as managing finance, social media marketing, branding and makeup.

According to the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Folake – Ani-Mumuney, “FirstBank’s participation in the House of Tara’s “1000 Voices” National Beauty Summit is in recognition of the invaluable entrepreneurship opportunities created by House of Tara over the years. This aligns with the bank’s resolve to continuously promote and support SMEs and entrepreneurship to build a sustainable economy for the benefit of everybody.


In 2016, the bank also launched FirstGem for women. The initiative provided opportunities for women to achieve their financial goals and aspirations.

According to the Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs Ibukun Awosika ,FirstGem account was designed to empower women, urging women in Nigeria to jettison the idea of living a life to impress people around them.

With FirstGem, the first female-centred bank product in Nigeria, female customers can access support funds for their financial wellbeing, free business advisory to meet their economic needs, specialised trainings on business development initiatives, regular information and insight on business opportunities in various sectors and industries.

According to the Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, women in diverse careers and businesses contribute a great deal to the bank’s bottom line and the nation’s GDP on the long run.

“Therefore, the bank is committed to supporting women-led businesses to stimulate sustainable growth and national development,” she said.

FirstGem comes in variants of savings and current accounts and is designed to benefit women professionals, entrepreneurs, SMEs, women in paid employment as well as low income earners, traders and artisans.The product has something for every woman.

FirstGem, is an account designed specifically with the needs of women in mind. The account, is ideal for all women aged 18 years and above, whether working professionals or entrepreneurs and comes in variants; savings and current account.

The product is accompanied with benefits like access to trainings on women empowerment, access to business advisory services for accessing Bank of Industry (BOI) intervention at single digit interest rates, access to annual medical and health programmes sponsored by First Bank for women among others.

By Kehinde Olesin