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FG, AfDB sign pact on $3 billion funding for women entrepreneurs

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Trader at one of the popular markets in Lagos… PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

The Federal Government, through the Bank of Industry (BoI) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have mutually agreed to mobilise $3billion to support women empowered businesses.

The funding incentive, which is a brainchild of the AfDB’s affirmative Finance Action for Women (AFAWA), is a pan African initiative aimed a bridging the financing gap facing women on the continent.

Both the BoI and the AfDB share similar focus of promoting industrialization and economic growth by providing financial and funding support to entrepreneurs.

The expression of interest, which was signed on Monday, will enable the two development financial institutions to collaborate in addressing the financing gap for women enterprises by supporting AFAWA activities of bridging the $46billion women financing gap, engaging in policy dialogue to create enabling environment for women empowered businesses and developing appropriate frameworks for the smooth implementation of the programme.

AFAWA programme objective is to bridge the gender gap to finance through three pillars of access to finance, provision of advisory services to financial institutions to ensure successful implementation of dedicated women programmes including strengthening the capacity of women entrepreneurs through training to enhance business productivity and growth.

It also includes provision of an enabling environment through engagement with African governments and other key stakeholders to support legal, policy regulatory reforms and strike down the structural barriers impeding women empowered businesses.

It will be recalled that in its bid to promote women entrepreneurship, the BoI established a gender directorate resource with 22billion facility to provide financial and non-financial services to empower women businesses.


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