In a bid to cushion the negative effects of multiple taxation, harsh operating business environment and poor policy framework, among others, the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN) has urged the Federal Government to put in place, women-friendly policies that will address issues of financial inclusion for business prosperity.
They called for women economic power through access to finance and entrepreneurial development, as well as leveraging on the gains to become innovative and move towards scaling up their businesses.
National Co-ordinator, ANWBN, Modupe Oyekunle, who said this during this year’s women connect summit with the theme, ‘Innovate! Inspire!! Influence!!!’ said over the years, the group had pursued and identified ways to make the business environment better, collaborating at both local and international levels, as well as exploring opportunities for women in African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to change the narrative with respect to five priority area, which had further broadened the national representation of members.
She added that building the capacity of women in governance, inclusion of women at all levels of government in terms of competence, character and readiness must be taken seriously.
Programme Director, Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Africa, Lola Adekanye, lamented the challenges of access to loans by businesses in Nigeria.
She said that access opportunity will be discussed because, “we are not only hearing about the challenges to women- owned businesses, but also constructive solutions where women are learning new things and new ways of taking advantage of the opportunities that abound around them.”
Immediate Past Co-ordinator, ANWBN, Nana Okuribido, said the summit was about igniting women’s power to have different mindsets of doing business.
Okuribido, who is also the President, Women in Renewable Energy Association, said: “Women need to stop doing business same way as usual. We have to change the mindset of our thought processes for innovation, where we can have a better result that will take us to the next level. We need a conductive business environment for us to activate the 17 SDGS so that we can alleviate poverty.”
Second Deputy National Co-ordinator, ANWBN, Angela Ajala, said: “Our expectation is to see ourselves at the African Union, speaking to African heads of sates, because we are also entering AfCFTA. If we are going into AfCFTA, we should have a sit in the AU, where at their yearly meeting, they can hear our voices and know that as they take decisions at the various countries, they are gender sensitive and make sure they are taking things that are beneficial to government.”