The third phase of the Grooming Centre University Grant Scheme was concluded within Q4 2021, with a total of 68 candidates out of 155 applicants emerging as winners. These 68 winners, composed of 34 Undergraduate students and 34 Postgraduate students, received their awards at the 2021 Grooming Centre University Grant Scheme Award ceremony on Thursday, December 9, 2021. Undergraduates received One Hundred Thousand Naira each, while postgraduates received grants of Two Hundred Thousand Naira each. Due to strict COVID-19 protocols, only 29 winners were present during the award ceremony.
The Grooming Talent Hunt, which was created to empower the youths and discover exceptional talents, kicked off its 3rd edition in July with auditions and held the grand finale on the 13th November, 2021. Out of over 250 registered participants, the final 10 participants performed at the grand finale where the Chrysolite dance crew from Ibadan, Nigeria emerged winners of the grand prize of One million Naira. Additionally, a violinist, CJAY and a singer, Franca won the sum of Six Hundred Thousand Naira and Four Hundred Thousand Naira respectively as runners-up.
Following the virtual due diligence and conclusion of funding negotiations with Global Partnerships, a Seattle-based impact-first investment fund manager dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty for a loan facility, the Global Partnerships team based in Nairobi, Kenya paid a visit to the Centre’s Head Office and branches on Thursday, December 3, 2021. The visit involved high level discussions with key members of the Management team to better understand the Centre’s operating environment and structure.
The Centre held a 3-day offsite strategic retreat for Senior Management and Programme Managers from November 24th – 27th, 2021, to finalize the 2022 Business Plan. In addition, the team deliberated on strategies to develop the Centre’s blueprint for sustainable growth over the next three years, improve productivity, reinforce team building, and redefine organizational priorities. Key discussions centered on delivering the Centre’s mission within the new normal posed by the accelerating digital transformation as well as outlining future plans and key action points to be implemented. The retreat provided a platform to engage, inspire and brainstorm execution strategies in a relaxed environment.
With the conclusion of the digital transformation strategy advisory process with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Grooming Centre’s Digital Transformation Steering Committee was inaugurated to drive the achievement of milestones in the implementation plan and provide guidance and support to the Executive Management Team. Inaugurated in October 2021, the Committee is tasked with reviewing, monitoring and ensuring the implementation of the digital transformation plans as well as analyzing short to mid-term technology trends. The eleven-member committee, inclusive of Programme Managers and Zonal heads, is set to meet quarterly and will be chaired by the Chief Executive Officer.
In response to consistent feedback from clients, rampant inflation and reduced purchasing power as well as recommendations from the Programme Implementation Review Committee (PIRC), the Asset Loan Product Ceiling was reviewed from N200,000 to N300,000 on the 4th October, 2021. Also, preparations toward the launch of the Grooming Daily Loan Product (GDLP) in January 2022 are ongoing. The 100 Credit Officers required for the pilot phase have been recruited, classroom-trained and currently undergoing Field Operations training prior to deployment next year.
MicroRate’s Top Rated MFIs 2021
MicroRate’s Top Rated MFIs 2021
Grooming Centre Ranked Among the Best
Lagos, Nigeria – Grooming People for Better livelihood Centre (Grooming Centre) has been ranked among the highest rated Microfinanace Institutions globally by MicroRate, the foremost international rating agency. Announcing this, MicroRate stressed that “after a year full of challenges for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), we want to publicly recognize in presence of the various actors of the Microfinance Sector, those MFIs rated by MicroRate that had superior financial, social, and institutional performances even in the face of an adverse context in the localities where they operate without losing focus on their mission towards financial inclusion”.
Grooming Centre achieved excellence in both Institutional Performance and Social Performance, rated a- and ranking among the ten top institutions globally in Institutional performance (which gauged Governance and Management, Organization, Credit Operations, Portfolio quality, and Financial Profile), and rated four stars out of five stars in Social Performance (which examined the Depth and Adequacy of services, Responsible Finance, Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Commitment). A virtual award ceremony was held on Thursday, November 18, 2021 to officially present the list of institutions that made remarkable efforts in demonstrating the possibility of a financial-social balance.
“Sustaining this milestone in two successions is a significant step for Grooming Centre as it continues to drive for excellence in empowering the poor at the bottom of the pyramid by scaling up its financial and non-financial products and services, particularly in these unprecedented times with the Covid-19 pandemic having a profound effect on the lives of millions of people across the country. Additionally, it creates more opportunities and partnerships which strengthens our commitment to promoting financial inclusion and expanding choices for the excluded at the base of economic pyramid.” says Godwin Nwabunka, CEO, Grooming Centre.
About Grooming Centre
Grooming Centre, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), was founded in 2006 to address the near absence of financial services to the large population of economically active low-income earners engaged in small trading and micro productive activities in many parts of Nigeria. The Centre has done over 11 million credits since inception and is presently providing financial and non-financial services to over 700,000 members through a network of 603 branches across 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The Centre is a member of the World Bank Group Universal Financial Access (UFA 2020) initiative.
The award ceremony for the 5th edition of the Lady Kate Okafor Scholarship Scheme held on Thursday, August 26, 2021. Over the years, the Centre has made significant impact with initiatives like the LKOSS, which has successfully awarded over 1,300 students with scholarships. The scholarship scheme serves as a platform to support clients, empower children and contribute to their education and development. It is set to cover three years of Senior Secondary School education. In other educational initiatives, preparation for the 2021 Grooming Centre University Grant Scheme is ongoing. The Scheme will provide 150 undergraduate and postgraduate students with research grants.
As part of our Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment to giving back to the community, Grooming Centre made a donation of two printers, ten desktop computers, and three laptops to the Ejigbo High School, Lagos. The donation will meet the gap in ICT access for both students and teachers as well as contribute to building an enabling environment to boost effective digital skills training for students to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Representatives of the Centre presented the donation to the Vice Principal, Academics, Mrs Orenaiya Tosin, and Vice Principal, Administration, Mrs V. Ego on August 27, 2021. Following the donation, the Management expressed gratitude for the impactful contribution.
Grooming Centre held a Renewable Energy Customer Forum for SME’s on August 12, 2021 with the theme: Renewable Energy as a Catalyst for Growth and Efficiency of SMEs. The Centre’s first renewable energy forum connected government officials, renewable energy experts and entrepreneurs to build new partnerships, and engage with a special focus on the role of access to finance, solutions and opportunities in the renewable energy ecosystem. Speakers at the forum included the President, Renewable Energy Association Nigeria, Dr Segun Afaju, CEO, Cloud Energy, Mr Theophilous Nweke, MD Oolu Solar, Doseke Akporiaye.