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NNEW empowers women with business survival strategies

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) has charged market women in Lagos State to develop skills that will make them remain in business.

They were cautioned against surplus, inadequate and damaged stocks that could limit productivity and profitability.

They were also charged to speak up against gender-based violence in the society. The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) had reported that 80 per cent of growing business owners in Nigeria do not survive their first five years in business.

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The Vice President, NNEW, Olakitan Wellington, who gave the charge during a training programme organised by the group in partnership with Action Aid Nigeria for about 55 market women in Mile 12, Lagos, explained that effective record keeping in business would help to track their stocks, monitor progress, sales increase, keeping old and bringing new customers in business transactions.

Wellington said: “The regulated financial institutions are not able to give market women loans because they lack the requisite records or they believe that they don’t have the knowledge to manage it. That is why we are giving them the training not to overstock or under-stock. Both can kill businesses.

“Our previous training shows that they took the subject of discussions we have been having with them to heart and even scaled it down to other women. They need to know when they should restock, why they shouldn’t over-buy and also give them financial literacy training. What we are doing also is to give them access to funding. They need money to recapitalise their businesses and when they take their regular micro-finance loans, they charge them high interest.”

Contributing, the managing consultant, Kemrose Consultancy Services, Kemisola Jiboye, observed that 90 per cent of the population are financially ignorant. She advised the women to invest only in business they understand and update knowledge on ways to survive in such endeavors.

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“Financial literacy is important because it equips us with the knowledge and skills we need to manage money effectively. Without it our decisions and actions we take or don’t take lack a solid foundation for success,” she said.

Earlier, the Lagos State Commissioner for Police, Hakeem Odumosu, represented by the officer in charge of gender desk, CPS Grace Agbo’Ola-Ifido, pledged the command’s readiness to work with groups and associations in the state towards eradicating sexual and gender-based violence against women, children, men and youths.

Agbo’Ola-Ifido told the women that such cases could come in the form of an abuse, sexual harassment, sodomy, abusive names and intimidation, adding that they need to familiarise with the provisions of the VAPP Act, which emphasised the need to eliminate violence in private and public life.

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