The Country Director, New Face New Voices- Nigeria (NFNV), Hajiya Aishatu Debola Aminu says her organization is building the capacity of women entrepreneurs to gain relevant strategies to close financial inclusion gap and scale up their businesses.
She made the remark on Saturday at a one-day capacity-building workshop on Women Leadership and Financial Inclusion in Post Covid19 with the theme ‘Women in Leadership: A Catalyst for Advancing Financial Inclusion for Women in NMSMEs’, held at Kano Tourist Camp.
NFNV is a Business and Trade Support Organization.
Hajiya Aishatu said the Kano workshop is the first series of projects to be held in Nigeria.
“The purpose is to create a synergistic collaborative and mutually beneficial platform in which the northern women entrepreneurs can engage effectively for profitability and productivity in the region,” she added.
According to her, Nigerian women entrepreneurs make up nearly fifty percent of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which contributes to the employment pool, economic growth, and foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria.
However, she said women entrepreneurs are confronted with a myriad of challenges such as inclusive access to financial products, business structures, access to the market, and social-cultural bias amongst others.
“Women in the north face social-cultural challenges but with this initiative, we will ensure that we move women out of poverty with dignity and build their businesses and entrepreneurial skills.”
She advised women not to cause violence because of social and cultural barriers, but rather to create a balance.
“We are not discouraging women from neglecting their role as wives and mothers but to build financial capacity to be able to support their husbands and the home.
“We partner with traditional rulers and village heads to ensure that communities get proper education on what this project is about,” she added.
Ashiatu disclosed that the introduction of Nano which is largely different from the categories of Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMs), helps to capture all other categories of women.
Nano represents a whole lot of categories which are not been captured in all advocacy and drive to move women out of poverty.
The gender consultant NFNV-Nigeria, Mrs. Helen Emumwem in her presentation on ‘Areas of Women Leadership and Financial Inclusion Project’ said a lot of women in entrepreneurs have difficulties in accessing funds, hence the need to train and build their capacities in this area, and give them relevant information on how to be financially empowered, especially for startups.
She said: “Women in the rural areas are not left out as advocacy is carried out through partnership with village groups and associations.”
Earlier, while delivering his Goodwill Message, Sarkin Shanu and NFNV- Nigeria Patron, Alhaji Shehu Muhammed said to create greater economic stability, women must be financially empowered.
He encourages northern women not to be involved in entrepreneurship alone but also in politics in order to see their desire change.