By Merit Ibe
Surulere Local Government Area (LGA) of Lagos State and Rísé.ng are partnering to empower over 1,000 artisans and vendors in the state by funding their registration on Rísé.ng online business platform to ensure easy access to customers and accessibility.
Artisans and vendors across the local government area and environs were given the opportunity to enlist their trades and crafts on Rísé.ng, an innovative online marketplace platform that connects artisans and vendors to clients and customers with ease in Surulere LGA.
Rísé, a Yoruba word that means to “find work,” was launched in 2022 and findings show that the platform has become a platform Nigerians are appreciating for quality artisans and vendors.
Founder and chief executive officer, Rísé.ng, Mrs. Olawunmi Akalusi, said the platform was created to bridge the gap between vendors, artisans, service providers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and their end users, clients or customers.
She revealed that the chairman, Surulere LGA, Mr. Bamidele Yusuf, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, had paid N6,000 for each vendor for the year, covering insurance and the verification process.
“As an entrepreneur, all you need to do is download the app, register your products and services on Rísé.ng, fill in the know-your-customer (KYC) and ensure you are verified.
“The good thing for traders and artisans in Surulere is that the chairman has paid for the verification and insurance for the whole year for 1,000 artisans.
“The verification costs N3,000 while the insurance costs N3,000.
“The verification ensures security for both parties (the artisans and customers), while the insurance ensures that, if anything happens to them when delivering goods or services, they are covered to an extent.
“We are still working on general life insurance in cases of accidents,” she said.
Akalusi stated that they had put measures in place on the app to ensure artisans delivered quality goods and services to customers.
“We have a rating system where artisans are rated by their customers based on their service delivery.
“If a vendor or an artisan gets three strikes based on negative ratings, we will automatically remove the person from the system. This is to ensure that customers get quality services and products,” she said.
Akalusi said the initiative would be extended to other local governments in the state, as the plan was to empower at least 36,000 people in the country.
Gbajabiamila, who was represented by his chief of staff, Mr. Olanrewaju Smart, said the platform was one of the safety nets that artisans in the constituency needed to increase the portfolio of their businesses.
He said partnering with the local government was to ensure that artisans in the area migrate to e-commerce platforms like Rísé.ng to increase their market access.
“It is an electronic platform that enables them to interface with customers online and provide services to them seamlessly. There is no doubt that this will add to the income of artisans in Surulere.
“This programme will be extended to Itire-Ikate, Coker Aguda and other local government areas in the state,” he said.
Chairman, Surulere LGA, Mr. Yusuf, said the partnership was in line with his quest for development in all areas of the community.
Yusuf, represented by the vice-chairman, Mr. Adewale Dosumu, said he would continue to fund businesses’ registration on the platform to enable them have unhindered access to customers and conduct their business activities with ease.
Mr. Adesoji Abowaba, chairman, Tradesman and Artisan Association, Surulere, lauded Gbajabiamila and Yusuf for partnering with Rísé.ng to improve the lives of members of the community.
This, he said, showed their commitment to the development and economic well-being of the people of Surulere. According to him, the beneficiaries were selected from all 35 registered trades operating in Surulere.
“We have 35 registered trades in Surulere and 1,000 beneficiaries were selected from all the trades. Though they were not given equal opportunities based on their membership strength.
“Rísé coming to Surulere is a good initiative because it is an opportunity to help our members expand their businesses with ease and make more money.
“For those who don’t have smartphones, we have advised them to use their children’s phones to register on the app so they will not be left out,” he said.