Women entrepreneurs canvass policy to facilitate ‘female-owned firms’
Chairperson, Lagos Chapter of NNEW, Mrs. Eunice Obasohan, who spoke during the organisation’s network meeting in Lagos, stressed that government should mitigate issues of multiple of taxes, improve the ease of doing business environment, and provide low interest loans to start businesses.
She decried the high interest rate by banks in Nigeria, which discourages business financing through loans rather she said small-business grants should be made available to women as a viable source of financing for women-owned businesses.
According to her, SMEs play an important role in creating jobs, and wealth, and remains the key to resolving many societal challenges including unemployment; hence government should support women to access interest free funds.
She said: “We do not speak for ourselves as an association, but we actually represent many businesses around. It is about government helping in the area of policies that affect businesses directly or indirectly.
“If you empower a woman, you have empowered a nation. Getting policies in place would be helpful, policies that would give women some kind of soft spots would help them grow since they are not masculine in the physical but in their mindset; We will build up to it and move forward. Whatever happens to the society, will not just affect women but also families and the nation at large.”
She explained that the network is about gathering together business-minded women, and bringing in speakers to educate members on latest trends in the business world.
“NNEW is like a mirror to ourselves to let us know what is the next level for women in business. It has become obvious that women also belong in the business world. Women need to develop themselves for the business world. Our association is a business member organisation for women to think beyond their environment and learn from each other. NNEW will ensure that the newly inducted members will be well groomed to structure their businesses to the standard that is expected through excellence in professionalism, service delivery and impacting the society positively.”
Speaking on, ‘Positioning your business in 2019 for available opportunities’, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Industry, Trade & Industry, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, said Nigerian entrepreneurs are the life blood of the nation with statistics showing that the private sector contributes about 93 per cent of the economy out of which SMEs represents 48 per cent.
Oduwole reiterated the resolve of the federal government in promoting policies that focus on encouraging both local and foreign investors in the economy.
“The entire government intervention is to enable SMEs within the country to grow. Government has made reforms in business registration, while more reforms are on-going to reduce post-business registration issues. The trust deficit in the system has made many Nigerians not to appreciate the volume of initiatives that has been put in place for the growth of businesses”.
Other speakers including Mrs. Kenny Omojola of Sycamore Nigeria Limited, NNEW Executive Director, Titi Eko, and a travel consultant, Mrs. Folake Fatade, urged participants at the forum to put aside leisure and move above all barriers toward becoming a successful business woman in the society.
NNEW is a platform established in 2005, under the aegis of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, to promote and nurture entrepreneurship among women.
The association focuses on issues that are crucial to making their businesses thrive and fostering an enabling environment towards the success of women in entrepreneurship.
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