• Thursday, July 18, 2024
businessday logo


ANWBN brainstorms on how to scale up businesses, strategies on Covid-19 recovery

Business women advocate female’s property rights in Nigeria

About 52 business women organizations under the auspices of the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN) gathered in Lagos to brainstorm on how to scale up their businesses so as to recover from the challenges of Covid-19.

The two-day conference, which came under the theme, ‘Expanding possibilities,’ also featured a panel session where strategies for women’s legislative engagements were highlighted.

Speaking at the event, Modupe Oyekunle, national coordinator ANWBN, explained that the theme of the event was apt as a lot of businesses folded during the pandemic, adding that such gathering would spur women in business to network and strategies on the way forward.

Read Also: Gender balance is essential for economies, communities to thrive – ANWBN

“Covid-19 really and truly brought a lot of issues, we have businesses dying not only in Nigeria, the entire world actually experienced a major shift and it is important for women in business to make up their mind whether they want to remain on the ground or move forward,” she said.

Oyekunle stressed the need for women entrepreneurs to partner with women groups that will look at the positive side of the pandemic and push their businesses forward.

On challenges confronting women entrepreneurs, the national coordinator of ANWBN listed a high rate of insecurity, access to finance, inadequate power supply, dilapidated and poor road networks, gender inequality, among others.

On a high level of insecurity in the country, she advocated for the adoption of social security policy for underemployed youths by federal, state, and local governments in the country in order to cordon off youths from fraudulent means of survival through cybercrime.

On the other hand, she called on the Federal Government to revisit the electricity privatization agreement and allow states, individuals, and corporate organizations to generate and distribute electricity independent of the national grid.

For dilapidated and poor road networks, she called for the development of other transportation modes, saying that expansion of waterways and railways would complement the services of the roads and ensure their durability.

Also, she emphasized the need to strengthen policies and laws that promote gender equality in Nigeria across all levels.

On the issue of lack of access to finance, she pointed out that financial regulations should stipulate that development banks should allow clustering of women entrepreneurs who are currently ineligible for loans.

According to her, the political aspect of the conference was to encourage more women’s participation in governance.

“No matter how much we are shouting at different levels, we need to be sitting at the table, we have to be involved in policy formation as well as ensuring that we are part of the implementation of such policies.

“The fact remains that when we have more women in politics and governance, women will be well represented and the voices will be heard,” Oyekunle added.

On her part, one of the founding members of ANWBN, Alaba Lawason stressed the need for women to walk together as a team, adding that when they do so, they are bound to be more successful in any project they wish to undertake.

Lawson recalled that the pandemic had changed the lives of people in Nigeria and the world in general, adding that there was the need for women to sit down and plan ahead in spite of the odds Covid-19 had brought.

“Women can do it better because the psyche power in us is very great and this was given to us by the Almighty God. Give women a challenge, we will face it with reality and succeed, even banks are now changing all their managing directors to women, they are changing their chairman to women because they know the qualities in women; so let us come together.

“The pandemic has taught us not to put our eggs in one basket, there is a need for us to diversify our businesses,” Lawason said.

Aderinwale Ayodele, who spoke on the theme of the conference, ‘Expanding possibilities,’ saluted the tenacity of the leadership of the NWBN for continuously striving for the creation of a gender-friendly environment for women entrepreneurs and for constantly highlighting the many challenges faced by women pursuing business and career growth in Nigeria.

Ayodele told the women that there were greater opportunities in the country and that the opportunities were available to those entrepreneurs who are sufficiently hungry for such opportunities.