Women in Nigeria have been urged to play a more active and frontal role to stimulate the growth of businesses and overall development. In addition, they have been advised to pursue leadership roles in their communities and the corporate world so as to rise to the top echelon of decision making in order to champion policies and programmes that would ensure sustainable development.
The advice was given by the President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Fund for Women (GFW), Ms. Latanya Mapp Frett, who was the Special Guest Speaker at the 4th edition of the Women Financing Women (WFW) Group meeting hosted by leading financial services provider, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and SME.NG (Nigeria’s SME Impact Investment Platform) in Lagos on Thursday, June 25, 2020.
The WFM quarterly meeting, which was held virtually and recorded 30 registered attendees, provided a platform for women entrepreneurs to come together and share experiences on how the novel COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has affected businesses and proffer solutions to the various challenges posed by the pandemic. The WFW Group, conceptualised by SME.NG in 2019, is an assemblage of women-led funds, investors and financial institutions with diverse portfolios that focus on assisting women to secure finance for their businesses in Nigeria. On the other hand, SME.NG is an impact investment platform that invests in Nigerian Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to realise measurable environmental, social and financial returns.
According to Ms. Frett, the absence of women in key leadership positions has limited the ability and capacity of women-owned businesses, including Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), to secure the relevant support to ensure their success.
She stated that, “the inability of women to reach the very top of leadership positions is a limitation to reach our goals. These include long term opportunities to influence the attainment of international sustainability targets in a manner that would impact positively on the well-being of women and their endeavours, especially in the area of business and other socio-economic activities”.
Ms. Frett informed that the Global Fund for Women has in the last 35 years intervened and supported women in various ways. She listed this to include funding of over 5,000 women-owned businesses across the world since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the creation of a feminist funding model, under which GFW works with a network of partners to ensure that women can fund the business of other women through grants of between $10,000 and $100,000 for a period of 3yrs.
In addition, she disclosed that the Fund is in partnership with the United Nations and other multilateral organisations to sustain girls’ education following the COVID-19 pandemic, while also initiating a Crisis Fund for the pandemic. She added that the funds are used to provide relief items, health services and other essentials across communities. Ms. Frett urged financial institutions to, “focus on the overall social Impact beyond their funding to businesses by determining which ones with limited resources they can continue to fund and have multiplier effect in this critical period”.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Executive Director, Business Development FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith, stated that FCMB has been supporting businesses for several years and has been very deliberate in this regard for women-owned SMEs. This includes the setting up of a women in business proposition, known as SheVentures to meet the various needs of women entrepreneurs.
“SheVentures is a brand for FCMB’s Women in Business proposition, which provides financial and business support to women owned businesses enabling them to unlock potential, scale-up and build sustainable businesses with significant impact on the economy”, she explained.
Mrs. Smith, who is a prominent member of WFW, noted that the FCMB SheVentures initiative is centered on 4 pillars; Access to capital which encompasses the SheVentures zero-interest loan granted to over 160 Women SMEs since last year, Gender Intervention Funds and Equity funding through collaboration with SME.NG to give ready women SMEs access to women investors; Access to knowledge which ensures that women entrepreneurs are guided with the proper training and robust mentorship programs to help them navigate and understand the business environment; Access to network and Access to market”.
She restated the commitment of FCMB to sustain its support for women entrepreneurs, adding that, “through the profitable and beneficial business models we have developed for women entrepreneurs, we have gone a step further by ensuring that SMEs that have benefitted from our support in turn go ahead to improve the social state of their communities positively. We look forward to learn more on how to support female entrepreneurs given the challenges faced due to the COVID -19 Pandemic”.
The Managing Partner for SME.NG, Ms. Thelma Ekiyor, informed that the organisation, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), conducted a “National Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Women-owned Businesses”. 1,300 women entrepreneurs in 30 states participated in the survey to determine their challenges and needs. She added that a key recommendation from the survey, is for a Fund to be domiciled at the Federal Ministry for Women’s Affairs to support women entrepreneurs in recovering from the pandemic.
Ms. Ekiyor also mentioned that SME.NG is working with FCMB and GroFin (a SME development financier) to provide finance to women-owned businesses, who graduate from their Accelerator “She Works Here”.
Women Entrepreneurs at the meeting gave testimonials about their experiences on the effects of covid-19 on their businesses. Notable among the achievements recorded is an increase in the number of jobs created, an indication that their respective businesses are growing in a sustainable manner.
The participants also advised that women entrepreneurs should tap into and harness the benefits of e-commerce and all other forms of business digitization.
For more information about FCMB, please visit www.fcmb.com.
7 fundamental reasons to buy LeornadobySujimoto now
In Building the Leonardo, we also wanted to understand the market direction and maximise investors’ gratification.
The Leonardo’s 2 Bedroom is currently selling for N200million, the 3 Bedroom is N250million and 4 Bedroom is for N300million.
In terms of pricing, the most expensive 4 Bedroom Apartments today in Nigeria are in Bourdillon and Eko Atlantic and their prices ranges from $935,000 to $3.5millon which is about N420million to N1.5 Billion, while a 4 Bedroom at the LeonardoBySujimoto is selling for N300million for Now! Our 2 Bedroom that is selling now at N200million will sell for N350million when we launch in October, and sell for $1.2m when completed. (We have researched the best, but what we are building beats the best).
For Leonardo, we have decided to go all out, creating a building that from foundation to Chandeliers, your only experience will be luxury.
State-of-the-art features and facilities such as Full Home Automation, Kohler kitchen, 3 Metres Doors, Duravit’s Phillip Stark and Zaha Hadid’s Award-winning Sanitary Wares , Simone Saragoni’s Technogym, Olympic size pool, Minimart, Mini Clinic, Hair salon, Interactive Lobby like a 5-star hotel, Tennis Court, Squash Court, Imax Cinema, Indoor Virtual Golf, Luxury Spa, Bar & Lounge and lots more.
We are not boasting but no other building will compete with Leonardo, not anywhere in Nigeria, not even in Africa (Please hold us by these words).
When we started Sujimoto, we adopted 2 fundamental principles – QUALITY AND INTEGRITY. 5 years ago, we promised that the MediciBySujimoto will come wrapped in Marble, today not one marble has fallen off! We promised that the Medici will come with Duravit Sanitary wares, not just regular Duravit, but the limited edition, designed by Phillip Stark. We promised that our gym will come with Simone Saragoni’s Technogym 5 years ago, and today, the MediciBySujimoto project is still one of the best building in Ikoyi!
3. Investment ROI:
No one can carry your house from Banana Island to Ibadan!
The Leonardo promises 400% returns on investment and we have proof for it. With the Leonardo, you can buy, resell and make 400% ROI in 2 years. You can also buy and do a short let rental that can guarantee you between N30million to N60million Naira annually.
You can also buy a unit, make use of it whenever you are in LAGOS and put it up for short let whenever it is not in use. Please note that if you want a long term rental, Sujimoto has signed a rental agreement with top multinationals and other companies that will rent the Leonardo, immediately it is completed. Now, with treasury bills at 3% per annum, and volatility in Stocks and Bonds, everyone between the ages of 35 and 60 are choosing real estate as the safest investment option, putting LeonardoBySujimoto as the first option.
People say why Leonardo Da Vinci, I say why not? We have studied the Iconic master of art – the Leonardo Da Vinci, whose work outlives the 16th century, finding relevance even in the 21st century; studying him and coming up with this design is to remind us that what we are building will not only be aesthetically different but iconic in character.
It will be the first building in the world to have more than 1000 art pieces, hanging in every corner, reminding the residence and their visitors of the artistic genius and creativity that goes into the creation of Leonardo project.
Dubbed as the most affluent neighbourhood in Africa, Banana Island houses the 1% of the 1% ultra-wealthy in Nigeria, making it the richest square metre in Africa. Banana Island is also home to the ultra-wealthy few such as the Adenugas, MDs of Multinationals, Executive Directors, HNIs, Billionaires Businessmen, and Music Entrepreneur – Davido, to mention a few. Imagine jogging in the evening and seeing Davido taking a stroll with his pet.
Aside from the fact that lands are limited in Banana Island, leading to an increase in the value of the space, Banana Island has been described by Forbes Africa as the 2nd safest place in Nigeria, second only to Aso Rock. This luxury location is perfect for those who value security and those who are thinking of ROI as the value of properties in Banana Island keep rising. Lekki and Victoria Island are all great locations, but Banana Island’s value has remained and increased more than 100% over the last 18 months.
If your neighbour is a Vulcaniser, the possibility of you selling Car tyres is very high, but what happens if you live in a building that houses 1% of the 1% ultra-wealthy Nigerians?
The Leonardo is only for the vital few! We have confidentiality codes, because our KYC system allows like-minded people, from MDs of IOCs to ultra-high net worth individuals, to be the caliber of people you will find at the Leonardo, you can call us ”success racist” it’s ok.
We might not be the Emmar Groups of Dubai, the Candy Brothers that built One Hyde Park in London, or Arthur Zeckendorf of New York City, but we are Sujimoto and ‘we no dey carry last’. We don’t do things for immediate gratification, but for value creation.
In Building the Leonardo, we didn’t only carry out research on architecture or location, we also wanted to understand the market direction and maximise investors’ gratification. We spoke with developers and tenants, landlords and their neighbours; understood the pains of residence and their deepest desires, armed with this information, we set out to build what will not only compete with the best buildings in Africa but the best in the world!
As COVID-19 ravages the world and businesses, our prayers and thoughts are with everyone who have lost a loved one and every business that have been affected by this pandemic. We have turned our pains to gains and remained positive, ever winning because the hype is real!
Building financial competence with an Annual Savings plan
This fund could be savings towards a vacation, property purchase, rent, retirement, school fees, investments.
To be financially competent means to possess the knowledge necessary to allow an individual make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources. In improving your financial competence, utilising an annual savings plan can help in achieving your life goals. The primary principles of financial literacy include learning how to budget, track spending, effectively pay off debt, and properly plan for retirement.
An annual savings plan involves deciding how much money you would like to have saved at the end of the year, choosing a bank account for that purpose and making weekly or monthly contributions to that account to meet that annual target. For example, if you would like to have N300,000 saved by the end of December, you could decide to save about N5800 every week or N25,000 every month.
This fund could be savings towards a vacation, property purchase, rent, retirement, school fees, investments or other pursuits. An annual savings plan isn’t an emergency fund (an emergency fund is a stash of money set aside to cover unexpected and urgent financial requirements), this savings plan allows you build your net worth and have a good base to start an investment portfolio.
It is important to keep a record of the target amount to be met, how often money should be deposited and how much should be deposited at every interval. Equally important is choosing the right kind of account to save it in. The account to be used for your annual savings plan should be one designed specifically to save towards a set goal, like UBA’s Target Account, which accrues credit interest on your savings and gives incentives for self-control.
The importance of saving money cannot be understated. With so many proven benefits, saving money is one of the best financial habits you can adopt and with continuous practice it can help you develop financial competence.
About the Author
Gloria Kafui Agbomadzi writes about useful tips for balanced living. Her writings are based on real life experiences and research. She also writes on diverse topics including finance, education, health and lot more.
Charles Odii releases his new book – 21 Questions on entrepreneurship
The questions are extensive and aim to provide information on how to be a successful entrepreneur.
Charles Odii the Executive Director, SME100Africa launches a new book – “21 Questions on entrepreneurship”. This book is unique as it provides real answers to questions posed by entrepreneurs that Charles encountered through his SME100Africa journey. Charles is the Founder of SME100Africa – A a social enterprise, with the aim of ensuring African entrepreneurs succeed regardless of their socio-economic background, has grown to provide over one hundred thousand African Small and Medium Enterprises with access to finance, markets, capacity development, mentorship, networks, skills, resources and most importantly information.
Charles Odii explains, “this book is written from my extensive experience gained over a decade of starting and running a business in Africa, international travel and engagement with thousands of entrepreneurs (who have sat with me and sent me emails to ask critical questions from “how to structure businesses, to how to develop marketing strategies that support their products in niche markets and more”). The book also contains questions from my online series “Ask Charles”. The questions are extensive and aim to provide information on how to be a successful entrepreneur.”
The book will be released on August 12th 2020 – International youth day, and will be available nation-wide for purchase as well on Amazon, Flutterwave, Jumia, 100connect and more. For enquiries you can visit: www.charlesodii.com.
You might be thinking, This sounds too good to be true… but here are a few takeaways from the book:
1. A Positive Attitude: This book will surely change your mindset as an entrepreneur. It goes way beyond teaching you the practical steps but it makes you aware of the opportunity you can leverage on for your business to succeed even through some failures.
“Ask Charles. Yes, Do it! He is the one who has the experience, the knowledge, the humility, the patience, and the passion to give you the needed advice. As he writes: “business is a dark room”. Charles’s book is the light, the guidance for all willing to start a business and become an entrepreneur. With this book, he chooses to answer the basics of how to fight your business monsters. It is a practical, easy-to-understand, and use, way of learning.
When asking for advice, it is important to consider who you ask. Charles Odii is a role model. His own story gives him all the credibility needed to advise you on how to; grow your potential, engage in a successful business, learn from your failures, and believe in success.
As early as possible it is crucial to get a mentor, but a good one is hard to come by. If you read this book, you will feel that you have found your personal – virtual – mentor who is always there in your pocket or on your devices to answer all your dilemmas and challenges. So keep it and share it with others, as you may not be the only one who needs these insights, and this book fills the gap.”
Co-Founder Bridge Budapest
2. Your Whys: Being an entrepreneur isn’t as easy as ABC. It requires your time and effort. It goes beyond harvesting a passion but also building results; is it profitable? Are you scaling? Now, this brings us to your Whys. This book makes you break down your Whys and with this, you get a bigger picture to why you’re starting a business.
“The most important factor is to find your “WHY?”.
Why should I be an “Entrepreneur”?
Inspired leaders regardless of their size of business or industry, know their “WHY?”; that is how they communicate from the inside out.
I do highly recommend reading the book “21 Questions on Entrepreneurship” as it will provide you not just the “WHY” but also the “WHAT” and “HOW’”.
Board Member Kuwait National Fund for Development of SMEs
3. TURNING YOUR PASSION INTO A BUSINESS: Starting a new business as an entrepreneur is an emotional rollercoaster. There may be days where you “fail” and feel like giving up and that is okay. Yes, passion is good, but that won’t convert into a revenue stream without a solid business structure. The “21 questions on Entrepreneurship” shows you how to structure your business to help you make a living out of what you love.
“This book should be mandatory reading for all entrepreneurs, and the same goes for business owners who desire greater entrepreneurial instincts. I am delighted to be able to share this book with you, with the hope that you find it incredibly helpful when structuring better business concepts for your own business.
I applaud Charles for his achievement – and for his continuing contributions as a mentor and entrepreneur who devotes his time immensely to build the motivated community in Africa, and is a critical friend to many members of Nigeria’s start-up scene.
21 Questions on Entrepreneurship elaborates on all the possible challenges a nascent entrepreneur might face at the beginning of their journey, with a wide range spanning building company culture, finding market positions to dealing with the possible legal problems. This is an excellent book. If you are an entrepreneur, 21 Questions on Entrepreneurship is the book for you.”
Women in IoT, Taiwan
You can preorder the book here: www.CharlesOdii.com
It will be officially out on the 12th of August 2020. Get your hands on it before it’s sold out.
Here are some other reviews:
“One of the most rewarding career paths is entrepreneurship: following your passion, being your own boss, getting to be a leader, disrupting markets, and making tons of money! It’s true, that’s what most literature about entrepreneurship tells you: entrepreneurship is awesome!
What they don’t always mention though, is that 9 out of 10 start-ups fail. The leading cause of failure: incompetence and lack of knowledge and experience.
Most entrepreneurs spend half their career learning from their mistakes. Luckily, people like Charles Odii and
organisations like SME100Africa will save you the hassle of failure and take you straight to success.
Charles has travelled the world and gathered knowledge from entrepreneurs all over the globe. After listening to the challenges of his compatriots, he tailored it to the African experience and aggregated it in this A-to-Z guide of being an entrepreneur”.
Digital entrepreneur, co-founder of Gtlogic,
Crab Notion, Lebtivity, Jellyfish Labs,
“Do you value the perspective of entrepreneurs? Read as Charles delivers perspective gained from entrepreneurs all across the world. What you can find inside are applicable lessons from Charles to aid your entrepreneurial journey.”
Todd A. Rose,
Liaison for the International Visitor Leadership Program, a professional exchange program
funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
“If you want to hear it is easy to be an entrepreneur, then this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you want a realistic manual on entrepreneurship this is a must-have!
The 21 Questions are answered with details that help clarify concerns on issues like funding, taking risks, start-up
resources as well as providing the reader with templates on essentials like business plan, entrepreneurship checklist, choosing the right location and coping as an entrepreneur.
In this compilation of responses to “Ask Charles”, Charles Odii, founder of SME100Africa, has delivered a well
thought out, comprehensive and useful guide for today’s entrepreneurs.”
Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation