Nigerian Government Moves To Empower Women Entrepreneurs

The Nigerian Government has allocated 50% intervention initiative to promote women-owned businesses in the country.

The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN),  said this at the inauguration of “Meet with the CEOs” in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Director General said that to ensure this, SMEDAN now has a gender desk and has reserved 50 percent of its intervention programs for women.

Fasanya said the event was aimed at broadening and deepening the capacity of MSME operators on regulatory issues.

He said this will enable the agency to launch need based programs that will enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs in the global market.

Quoting the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), he said that 40 percent of businesses in the country are women-led, and they contribute significantly to economic growth and employment generation in the country.

“These businesses, led by visionary women entrepreneurs, are emerging as important drivers of Nigeria’s economic revival.

“And they are making significant contributions to the development of the country in various fields,” he said.

According to Fasanya, women-led businesses have continued to show resilience and high levels of optimism despite the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the economic recession.

She said: “Considering the impacts, women-led businesses are continuing to progress despite the challenges they face.

“Government and ecosystem players take a more deliberate approach to support the demographic segment for greater impact. “Especially since investing in women-led businesses has broader benefits that drive job creation, poverty reduction and wealth creation.”

The Director General therefore urged participants to interact with each other and with government officials, ask questions and network on ways forward.

They commended their co-host ILO for their unwavering support towards promoting equal human rights, social justice and sustainable development.

Meanwhile, the founder of Selina Unogwu Visioning Academy (CUVA), Selina Unogwu reiterated the importance of a balanced work life as a female entrepreneur.

According to Unogwu, work life balance refers to the intersection of work and personal life, when there is a balance or equilibrium between personal life and professional life.

He highlighted the importance of entrepreneurs focusing on their goals and urged the participants to work hard and believe in their dreams.

“Work hard, keep dreaming and make it happen,” he said.