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Nokia partners with Cherie Blair Foundation for Women & MTN to bring Nokia Life Business Women service to Nigeria

Nokia, 23 August 2012

Business Women was unveiled today in Nigeria at an event that included the participation of Cherie Blair, top female entrepreneurs, women’s associations and local students.

As part of its mission to connect the next billion people to relevant information and the Internet, Nokia, in partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and MTN Nigeria, today announced a new Nokia Life service that will provide essential business and entrepreneurship tips to women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The service, Business Women, will be the latest addition to the Nokia Life service portfolio.

Women entrepreneurs are faced with significant barriers to scaling up their businesses, including access to affordable resources, marketing channels and training inputs. The Business Women service aims to address this imbalance, by providing essential business and entrepreneurship tips, delivered via SMS to mobile phones with the Nokia Life service. Research conducted by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, supported by the ExxonMobil Foundation, showed that 93% of women entrepreneurs in Nigeria were willing to use a valued-added mobile service like Business Women to address the core challenges they face in their business; and 75% of them felt that addressing these challenges would lead to a significant increase in the value of their business [“Mobile Value Added Services: A Business Growth Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs”, May 2012].

By partnering with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to make the Business Women service a reality, Nokia re-affirms its commitment to connect people to opportunities, including making women a larger part of the next billion people to be connected.

Cherie Blair, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, said partnering with Nokia on the Business Women service is a ‘welcome development’.

“Giving women the chance to become financially independent and make the most of their talents is the key to higher living standards for them and their families,” said Mrs. Blair. “With the extensive reach of Business Women through Nokia Life and content tailored especially for Nigerian women entrepreneurs, this new service has the potential to empower thousands of women business owners.”

James Rutherford, Vice President of Nokia West Africa, said, “Working with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is a key milestone on our journey to connect the next billion people to relevant information. Nokia Life is by far the world’s largest mobile information services suite helping consumers in emerging markets learn, live, and share information better. The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women invests in women entrepreneurs to build and expand their businesses, and in doing so, benefit not only themselves but also their families and communities. We are delighted to partner with the Foundation to provide Nigerian women with the best information available to help grow their businesses.’’

Leading telecommunications provider, MTN Nigeria, will provide the service free of charge for an initial period of subscription to Nigerian women. Sifiso Dabengwa, President and Chief Executive Officer, MTN Group, said, “We are confident that MTN customers will enjoy the Business Women service, which has the potential to enrich many people’s lives.”

Business Women was unveiled today in Nigeria at an event that included the participation of Cherie Blair, top female entrepreneurs, women’s associations and local students.

About Nokia
Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia’s technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world.

About the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women provides women with the skills, technology, networks and access to finance that they need to become successful small and growing business owners, so that they can contribute to their economies and have a stronger voice in their societies.

About MTN Nigeria
With over 42 million subscribers and counting, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited is the largest subsidiary in the MTN Group - Africa’s leading mobile telephony company with operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.