‘How private sector can grow women-owned SMEs’
Private organisations have been urged to support growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by connecting women-owned businesses with local and international institutions.
Besides, they are advised to support small business owners by providing loans or grants for female entrepreneurs to enable them to provide job opportunities and boost their contributions to the economy.
According to BHM Group, women-owned businesses, suffer major setbacks owing to some challenges, including lack of proper business skills and knowledge, family and societal limitations, lack of proper business structure and limited access to finance.
The firm admitted that government, through several schemes by the Ministry of Women Affairs and the Bank of Industry (BOI), has made efforts to solve some of the challenges.
However, it added that there is still a huge gap as the government alone cannot solve the problems.
“It is important that the private sector proactively supports the government’s effort to help with the growth and advancement of women-led businesses. A good example of how private organisations can support female entrepreneurs is the Y’ellopreneur initiative by MTN Foundation.
“The programme includes a four-week training programme for 500 female entrepreneurs and equipment loans for the top bankable business ideas. Some other examples include the Flourish Africa grant and the Womenpreneur pitch-a-ton initiative by Access bank.
“Despite a few organisations supporting the growth of women’s businesses, these challenges are very present, and there is a need for more organisations to actively support the government in advancing this cause,” it said.
The firm pointed out organisations could also provide access to education and training which will aid the growth of women-owned small businesses.