Friday, January 27, 2017

Nothing succeeds like success

Amal Hassan wanted to be a doctor so she applied to the university to study medicine.  However the university admitted her to study business administration instead.  Her mother encouraged her to accept and attend the course. The mother was concerned that if Amal delayed, she could lose her opportunity to go. In northern Nigeria, without an education, the normal practice was to marry early.  Choosing to follow her mother’s advice set Amal on the path to become the successful entrepreneur and business woman that she is today. 
After obtaining her degree, she enrolled in a program to study basic computer skills and wanting more left Kano for Lagos to study Microsoft Certified Systems Engineering.  Ever enterprising, upon her return she started the first organized IT training center in Kano.  Its primary objective was to enable women to acquire IT skills and broaden their job prospects.  By 2005, the center had trained over 3,000 people, mostly women. 

However acquiring these skills presented an unexpected problem.  The graduates could not readily find jobs since their first degrees were in different fields.  To provide solution, Amal started a company that provides financial software management solutions to banks thus providing employment for some of her graduates.  Observing the poor record keeping in the public hospitals her family uses, she started another company that provides health care automation systems for public hospitals.  Today her company services six public hospitals. 

The journey did not end there as she went on to start The Outsource Company in Abuja.  It provides call center services to companies and organizations who want to outsource their customer care.  The Abuja call center for example services the Nigerian Communications Commission among other clients.  During a visit by U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Stuart Symington, Amal revealed that they even serve U.S. clients.

While touring the company with the Ambassador, Amal said that the center in Abuja has outsourced
the 170 seats it has.  They plan to provide 1,000 seats by the end of 2017 including expanding to Lagos and Kaduna.  This will mean employment for about 4,000 people because they will run in three shifts.
 
 Ambassador Symington was impressed with the company and what they’ve achieved. He said it was important because it was addressing one of Nigeria’s most important issues, employment.  He suggested that Amal network with women and others in her field especially those who face the cultural and gender issues she encountered.

Amal is an inspiring example of what women can achieve despite the obstacles.  Coming from a conservative Fulani Muslim background, she has become a successful entrepreneur in a field in which there are very few women.

3 comments:

  1. Conservative Fulani Muslim background is not, and has never been a barrier to success. It's a smokescreen. What does one consider to be as successf or entrepreneurial? From being a participarnt observer, i think most challenges being faced buy the so-called "Conservative Fulani Muslims" stemmed out of lack of western schooling, which in turn arised due to poverty and lack of required support. Our society (Conservative Fulani Muslim) needs more support at the grassroots level for improved economic opportunities, awareness creation & sensitization suitable to our local context. Then, you will see thousands of Amal. We need real help far beyond role modelling, please. Congratulations Amal and I pray Allah swt bless you and your family the more.

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  2. Good efforts. This is following the footsteps of the 19th century Nana Asmau Bint Fodio, whose remakable history was known to be a contradiction of the typical African woman. She initiated a drive towards educating women and making them relevant in contributing to the history of western sudan. Her actions inspired and spurred many women to come out and help in attendimg to the wonded among tje army during the 19th century Islamic reforms under Sokoto caliphate. May Allah continue to guide and empower our women for a better society.

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  3. Great post you shared, you have now become top of my list. You were unknown to me before but have found your content to be fantastic.

    So great work for informing us of the possibilities and following a certain path.

    I really appreciate your hard work an giving us some information and inspiring others to follow.

    Thanks so much.

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