BY EMEKA EJERE

First Bank of Nigeria Limited is not leaving any stone unturned in its bid to create a new generation of financially literate women, through its all-female online community which offers mentoring, support and capacity building opportunities for all.

With the aim of increasing its engagement and reach a wider audience, an online repository for its FirstGem product was created and designed to provide a virtual online community where like-minded women irrespective of where they are in Nigeria and abroad, gather to connect, grow and share knowledge on everything about lifestyle, parenting, career development, entrepreneurship, health, work and family. In other words, financial empowerment and wealth creation ideas are shared to encourage women to play their part in providing financial support for their families.

FirstGem, a lifestyle offering for women, which was unveiled in 2017, provides female customers with access to support funds for their total financial empowerment, free business advisory and specialized trainings on business development initiatives. It also provides regular information and insight on business opportunities in various sectors and industries as well as tremendous discounts at merchant outlets that offer lifestyle products and services among other benefits.

It is designed to benefit women professionals, entrepreneurs, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), women in paid employment as well as low income earners, traders and artisans.

Speaking at a summit on Women Empowerment organised by Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with FirstBank at the time, chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, had asserted that the FirstGem offering was targeted at purposeful wealth creation and it was designed to provide enabling opportunities for women to achieve their financial goals and aspirations. She encouraged the women to leverage the FirstGem offering to build investments for themselves. “You do not build wealth by thinking about it, you build wealth by taking a deliberate action,” she had counseled.

To further enhance the benefits of FirstGem, barely two months after First Bank celebrated the one year anniversary of the product, the bank launched a website specifically designed to build a virtual community of like-minded women in order to encourage interactions among them, while focusing on key areas of interest, thus allowing women to engage with one another over shared passions, goals and life aspirations.

The portal provides varied contents ranging from blog stories to vlogs, newsletters, chat rooms which are built on 6 pillars – health, wealth and finance, food and recipes, events, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and beauty.

The FirstGem online community presently has over 61,634 members drawn from all walks of life sharing ideas, insights and experiences.

According to the group executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Chuma Ezirim, “FirstGem is suited for the Nigerian woman, and we are using this online community as the ideal opportunity to position the bank’s gender initiatives to meet the required needs on a wide range of issues affecting women from lifestyle, skills acquisition, finances, wealth acquisition and management, business support among other things.

“We encourage all women to join the community by signing up via this link https://firstgem.com.ng/community to enjoy this experience”, Ezirim said.

FirstGem is a gender specific account designed to meet the needs of women, aged 18 years and above. According to First Bank, the product has successfully empowered women in states across the geo-political zones in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.