A 2015 report by the Gates Foundation stated that 41% of women in Nigeria are business owners making Nigeria the country with the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs in the world. This is impressive. Nigerian women are by far some of the most hardworking and determined people on the face of the earth. (Can we get a shout?)
However, one should be curious about the failure of this report to correlate with the reality on ground considering the state of the Nigerian economy. It is obvious that what entails entrepreneurship across Nations and the indices for measuring business success are not at all equal. An Iya Risi who owns a street kiosk selling everyday essentials fits the bills of a business woman as much as a woman like Adenike Ogunlesi. But there is a stark difference in their definition of success and contribution to the economy of the country.
The difference between both go beyond product type. For one, the motivation for doing business often differs amongst these women. Today, we have more women making active decisions out of a passion for creating direct business value. Prior to this, a larger percentage of women in Nigeria venture into business ownership as a way out of misery, joblessness or the government’s failure with public service. This has been as much a function of macro-economics of the country as it is the social conditioning of being a woman in an African society. It is a norm that Nigerian women generally do not move into action unless it has become necessary.
There is also a general outcry that only a few women with genuine and profitable business ideas have access to the funds required to bring these ideas to life. While this may be true to a large extent, the last few years have also shown that the problem of access is largely rooted in a lack of investors’ confidence in the ability of the business hopeful to succeed at what they do. And the reason for this is not far-fetched, most of these enterprising women have little access to information on daily business operations or improving the chance for scalability.
Consequently, despite having most financial institutions report that women are more likely to repay back their obligations than their male counterparts, they still have a difficult time accessing the funds they require.
This underscores the new wave of seminars, training and proliferation of information channels to educate women about the basic and key techniques for running a successful business.
This is the raison behind the series of business workshops being organized by the W Community in collaboration with the Enterprise Development Centre.
The Womenpreneur Business Workshop exposes participants to business knowledge beginning from having a judicious purpose for business to skills required for business growth and success.
The paid workshop has also been subsidized by a whopping 75% courtesy The W Community and Access Bank. You can get more information on it here.
It is by our collective effort that we can turn reported growth in GDP and GNP to something we can enjoy in our daily experience as Nigerians. Take the first step.