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Female Entrepreneurs Empower SMEs at UBA’s Women’s Day Event

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On the momentous occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2024, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) hosted an inspiring hybrid event at its head office in Lagos, marking a significant chapter in the empowerment of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). This special edition of the UBA Business Series, aptly themed ‘Herstory,’ brought together successful female entrepreneurs who shared invaluable insights and practical advice to foster business growth and resilience among SME operators and aspiring business owners.

The panel featured a distinguished lineup of speakers, including Chioma Ikokwu, the co-founder and CEO of Good Hair Ltd; Atilola Moronfolu, founder of African Naturalistas; Onyeka Michael-Ugwu, founder of Hello Perfect, a premier skin aesthetics and laser clinic in Nigeria; and Oshuwa Tunde-Imoyo, actress, founder, and CEO of NOUA Skin, a luxury boutique skin studio in Lagos. Each entrepreneur shared their unique journey and the strategic approaches that propelled their ventures to success.

Chioma Ikokwu underscored the importance of solving a tangible problem and being direct and intentional with customer offerings. She highlighted the significance of separating personal lifestyle from business operations and embracing meaningful partnerships and collaborations to enhance business growth.

Echoing the sentiment on collaboration, Onyeka Michael-Ugwu emphasized the value of surrounding oneself with a supportive and competent team. She pointed out that treating team members well translates into their dedication to the business’s success, underscoring the symbiotic relationship between business owners and their employees.

Atilola Moronfolu focused on the critical aspect of business structuring, advocating for the implementation of standard operating procedures that ensure business continuity in the owner’s absence. She also stressed the need to differentiate personal finances from business finances, a practice that encourages business self-sufficiency and financial discipline.

Oshuwa Tunde-Imoyo spoke passionately about the power of education and self-investment in honing business acumen and decision-making skills. She encouraged business owners to continuously seek knowledge and not hesitate to ask for help, reinforcing the idea that learning and collaboration are key to navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship.

The event was a testament to UBA’s commitment to fostering an environment where SMEs, particularly those led by women, can thrive. Alero Ladipo, UBA’s group head of marketing and corporate communications, lauded the panelists for their contributions and reiterated the bank’s dedication to providing customers and small business owners with strategic insights for building successful businesses.

This UBA Business Series on Women’s Day not only celebrated female entrepreneurship but also served as a beacon of knowledge, empowerment, and inspiration. It reflected UBA’s understanding that SMEs are the backbone of economic growth and that nurturing them, especially those run by women, is crucial for sustainable development and impact.

As the narratives of these successful female entrepreneurs unfolded, it became evident that investing in oneself, building a strong and motivated team, maintaining a clear separation between personal and business finances, and embracing continuous learning and collaboration are fundamental principles for any thriving business. The UBA Business Series ‘Herstory’ edition has undoubtedly set a precedent for empowering SMEs, inspiring a new generation of business owners to forge paths toward prosperity and resilience.

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