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WED focuses on ease of expanding local business beyond Nigeria


WED Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) last Friday by hosting a forum for over 200 women entrepreneurs, leaders, innovators and experts at the Access Bank head office in Lagos, to encourage entrepreneurs think globally.

The theme of the event: Local to Global, highlighted the areas needed in building a global business and tips on how to make your business scalable from a local to global perspective. It had two interactive sessions that were moderated by Osayi Allie on the topic “Local to Global” and “Enablers for Global Positioning” followed immediately by Tariye Gbadegesin.

The panel speakers shared their individual success stories on how they started their businesses locally and have expanded beyond Nigeria through entrepreneurial innovation.


Guests included experts in digitalization, branding, marketing and angel investing such as Ndidi Nwuneli Managing Partner, Sahel Capital Advisory and AACE Foods; Oke Maduewesi, Zaron Cosmetics Limited; Kemi Adetiba President, K’Alpha; Funke Bucknor CEO, Zapphire; Dr Ibilola Amao, Principal Consultant, Lonadek Inc; Tariye Isoun Gbadegesin, Head, Heavy Industries and Telecomms, Africa Finance Corporation; Osayi Alile CEO, ACT Foundation; Steve Babaeko CEO, X3M Ideas and Adim Isiakpona, Digital Media Marketing Lead Middle East, Turkey & Africa and Regional Marketing Manager Africa at Intel Corporation.

Others include Kudzayi Hove, Co-Founder, Amayi Foods Limited; Ivan Osagie of Rising Tide Network, an affiliate of Lagos Angel Network, Tokunboh Ishmael, MD, Alitheia Capital; Titi Odunfa Adeoye Managing Director, Sankore Investments and Foluso Gbadamosi, Co-Founder, 8191 Solutions.

Ndidi Nwuneli charged participants to build a business with a vision for the global world. “You have to think local and build global, be innovative, create values, do things differently, and think about how to meet the needs of the society.

Oke Zaron shared her painful experience as an entrepreneur and gave out tips on how to move a business to the next level. “Be deliberate and careful about branding, create a product that goes with the brand, go local, think global, understand the culture and the environment,” she said.

Funke Bucknor highlighted on how to use social media for growth. “Social media is a very effective tool for your business, you need to choose the best platform that works for your business, determine your customers, and their wants. She urged participants to make their brand dynamic, re-innovate and think differently.

Chizor Malize urged women to put structures in their business for growth, scale and for globalness. “You need to position your brand to achieve global risers, demonstrate you can do it, have significance references, build a study and know the legacy.

According to Adim Isiakpona, “To scale the global market you have to build an ecosystem, find opportunity, look inwards of your business to see how you can optimize it for scale.” He urged participants to adopt technology and focus in areas that allows more profits.

In her welcome address, WED Nigeria Ambassador Adenike Kuti, said the organisation was set up to empower women and girls to become active participants in the economy by igniting women leaders to make a difference, realise their full potentials and change the world.


“WED is celebrated in 144 countries all over the world as the world’s largest celebration of women innovators, founding startups, creating jobs, bringing ideas to life, driving economic growth and expanding human welfare. It is such an honour to have Nigeria participate in this global movement,” she said.

The forum also featured networking and pitching sessions where five shortlisted female entrepreneurs were given an opportunity to pitch their businesses to panel comprising business mentors, angel investors, VCs and financiers to secure potential investors, mentors or financing for their businesses.

These include Parliamo Bambini Limited, Footwear Academy, De Gems Concept, Motale Global Concept, Afro Shill Organics Limited. At the end of the pitching, they were divided among the panels for mentorship and were given financial support. The event was powered by Access Bank Plc and W Community. It was also supported by the UN Women and Guardian Woman.

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