Women empowerment imperative for nation building
Acknowledging the role of women in economic development and nation-building, Grace Ladies International Ministries has emphasised on the need to build capacities of women to achieve an all-inclusive economic growth in Nigeria.
The Convener, Grace Ladies International Ministries, Ayodeji Megbope, explained that the business terrain for women all over the world is neither fair nor favourable to women, noting that women must be given an equal right in the business space.
Megbope stated this at a press conference to announce its forthcoming conference tagged “Beauty for Ashes” scheduled to hold on the 2nd of May, 2020, in Lagos.
In her words: “The vision of this ministry is to raise balanced women, that is, women who are balanced in their lives, careers, health and in every area of life. When we come together, we look at ways of how we can navigate our ways through the things life throws at us. It is a business fellowship that also helps to educate women on how to run their businesses, we empower them on how to run their businesses; we also help to provide seed capital for businesses. We help them discover their passion and watch them grow.”
According to her, women are exposed to all kinds of challenges when carrying out trading activities, highlighting some of the bottlenecks as the inability to attract customers to patronise their businesses, access to lack of capital, incurring enormous debts in their first time in businesses and the likes.
“We teach them advertising, marketing and what have you. We put them through business practices while also ensuring that they follow due process even in getting clients. We also teach them how to identify red flags so that they do not get it wrong in business,” she said.
She added: “Most of the time we give these women grants because they are women who have never started businesses so we do not give them loans because we know the challenges they are likely to face. We do not want to put too much burden on them, because loans come with lots of burdens. Once in a while, we give loans to those who are established because we know they have a reliable income they expect from such businesses.”
She said the conference is expected to attract over 2000 women from across the globe to experience life-changing stories that would change their lives for good and for the benefit of Nigeria.
“There are quite a lot of other women organizations that do what we do, we collaborate with them and exchange ideas. It is a win-win situation and we have over 200 members and we hope to reach more women with the conference as we go forward,” she said.
She urged women to take their place in the business world, advising that instead of waiting to given the pie, women must be bold and courageous to take leadership positions in organisations.