Mr Olawale Fasanya, Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has restated the Federal Government’s commitment to develop women-owned enterprises in the country.
On Wednesday, Fasanya spoke at the launch of “Meet With the CEO,” a cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in Abuja.
To that purpose, the director-general stated that SMEDAN had formed a gender desk and had set aside 50% of its assistance programmes for women.
According to Fasanya, the goal of the event was to extend and deepen the ability of MSME operators on regulatory concerns.
He stated that it would allow the agency to launch need-based programmes that would boost MSMEs’ competitiveness in the global market.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 40% of enterprises in the country are led by women, and they contribute considerably to economic growth and employment creation.
“These businesses, led by visionary female entrepreneurs, are emerging as critical drivers of Nigeria’s economic revival.”
“And they are making significant contributions to the nation’s development in a variety of sectors,” he continued.
According to Fasanya, despite the COVID-19 epidemic, climate change, and economic depression, female-led businesses have demonstrated resilience and high levels of confidence.
“Considering the consequences, female-led businesses continue to make progress despite the challenges they face,” he remarked.
“The government and ecosystem players are taking a more deliberate approach to supporting the demographic segment in order to have a greater impact.”
“Female-led businesses generate ripple effects that result in job creation, poverty reduction, and wealth creation.”
As a result, the director-general invited attendees to communicate with one another and with government officials, to ask questions, and to network on ways to move forward.
He praised the ILO, their co-host, for its persistent commitment to the advancement of equal human rights, social justice, and sustainable development.
Meanwhile, Celina Unogwu, Founder of Celina Unogwu Visioning Academy (CUVA), emphasised the necessity of having a balanced work life as a woman entrepreneur.
Work life balance, according to Unogwu, is the junction of work and personal life, when there is equilibrium or balance between a personal life and a professional life.
She challenged the attendees to work hard and believe in their dreams while emphasising the necessity of entrepreneurs remaining focused on their goals. “Work hard, keep dreaming, and bring it to life,” she urged.