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FG Dedicates 50% of Its Initiative to Empower Women Entrepreneurs

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The Federal Government is intensifying efforts to support female-owned businesses in Nigeria, with a commitment to allocate 50% of its intervention programs to women.

This announcement was made by Mr. Olawale Fasanya, the Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), during the “Meet With the CEO” event held in Abuja on Wednesday.

The event, a collaborative effort between SMEDAN and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), aims to deepen the understanding of regulatory matters among micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) operators.

Fasanya revealed that SMEDAN has established a gender desk to oversee these initiatives. “Our objective is to enhance the competitiveness of our MSMEs on the global stage,” Fasanya stated.

Drawing attention to statistics, Fasanya mentioned data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicating that women helm 40% of Nigeria’s businesses. These women-led enterprises, he noted, have a significant impact on the nation’s economy, fostering job creation and economic growth. “Visionary women entrepreneurs are at the forefront of Nigeria’s economic resurgence, making noteworthy contributions across various sectors,” he said.

Despite challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and economic downturns, Fasanya emphasized the resilience and optimism displayed by female-led businesses. He believes it is crucial for the government and industry players to adopt a focused strategy for supporting this demographic. “Investing in women-led businesses yields broader societal benefits, such as employment generation, poverty alleviation, and wealth creation,” he added.

The director-general encouraged attendees to network, discuss challenges, and share solutions, stressing the importance of collaborative efforts for progress.

Furthermore, he expressed gratitude to ILO for their steadfast dedication to promoting equality, social justice, and sustainable development.

In a separate address, Celina Unogwu, Founder of the Celina Unogwu Visioning Academy (CUVA), stressed the significance of work-life balance for women entrepreneurs.

She defined it as the harmonious integration of personal and professional life. Unogwu emphasized the need for entrepreneurs to remain goal-oriented while also believing in their vision. “Work diligently, remain committed to your dreams, and bring them to fruition,” she advised.

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