Stakeholders say more collaboration, right ecosystem will drive women businesses

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By Lucy Ogalue

The Association of Nigerian Women in Business Network (ANWBN), has reiterated the importance of collaboration in growing women-owned businesses in the country.

Members of the association said this at the ANWBN 2023 Summit/10th Anniversary in Abuja on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event has as its theme ,” A Decade of Collaboration”.

A member of the Board of Trustees of ANWBN, Mrs Saudatu Mahdi, said women’s businesses would thrive if the ecosystem of production, consumption and competition were put in place.

She urged for more support for women’s businesses in the country, saying if you empower a woman, it transcends her family, community, and larger group.

She said: ”If you also look at the economy itself, the major challenge we are all crying about is a conducive economic atmosphere.

”One that reduces the cost of production, enhances the market and helps people to compete favourably.

”We are now at the head of the World Trade Organisation. We should see that translate into our small businesses.

”We need to see them thriving, you do not need a billion naira in capital for a woman or an entrepreneur to thrive if the ecosystem of production, consumption and competition are correct.”

Mahdi then commended the women on the progress they had made over the years while urging them to continue to work together to move their businesses forward.

For her part, the FCT Coordinator of ANWBN, Mrs Mojisola Makanjuola, also reiterated the importance of cooperation among women in business.

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Makanjuola said: ” When we work together, we work faster. It is a conglomerate of women in business who are here together.

”They learn from each other, they build capacity along the line, and they are able to do business better.”

Mojisola said there was no challenge in mobilising the women to come together.

She said the women voluntarily saw the need to have a network where they could boost their various businesses under one umbrella and use it as a platform to reach out to the world.

According to her, it has been a form of strength that women can come together under one umbrella to showcase what they are capable of doing in the world of business.

”And bringing their own quota to growing the economy of the country.

On challenges, the coordinator said the challenge that Nigerian women were crying out was to have an enabling environment where they could grow and get loans.

According to her, women need equal opportunity with their male counterparts to enable them to contribute their quota and ensure the economic growth of the nation.

Earlier, the National Coordinator of the association, Angela Ajala, said the major significance of the 10th anniversary was coordinating four million women to collaborate and work together for ten years.

”Organising women is not an easy task. So, having a platform that gives voice to women to advocate the things they want to do.

”To provide an enabling environment for them to thrive as an entrepreneur is a major milestone, and now we are celebrating it.

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”And we are opening up another decade of the next steps we are taking with our women.

We are inaugurating some very special projects today dedicated to women,” Ajala said.

According to her, the association is pushing exports to ensure every woman is a global participant in the economy.

She said the organisation was making plans to ensure health insurance for its members and providing an e-commerce platform to showcase their products.

”We are working with some partner financial institutions to see how they can give start-up capital at single-digit interest rates.

”We are inaugutating what is called ‘ Her Business Hub’ to help women in the area of documentation, account audit and how to scale up their businesses.

”We are also inaugurating the first women’s estate, with the Lagos and Abuja pilot phases taking off.

”If you empower the rural women, the start-ups, they are the engine room of any nation. If business is going well at that level, Nigeria will prosper,” she said.

According to Ajala, ANWEBN is more than just an alliance of associations; it is a testament to the strength, resilience, and unwavering commitment of women.

”Women who have dedicated their lives to shaping a brighter, more equitable future. It is a testament to the power of collaboration and shared purpose. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

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