As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt economic activities all over the world, the informal sector (specifically small and medium enterprises, SMEs), have been at the centre of the crisis.
In view of the strong representation of female entrepreneurs within the SMEs space, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) hosted a webinar in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation to address the theme, Supporting SMEs and Women-Owned Businesses in Corporate Value Chains.
Speaking at the webinar, the Divisional Head, Shared Services, NSE, Bola Adeeko noted, “Entrepreneurs in Nigeria face significant challenges in accessing finance to sustain or expand their businesses. With the high level of female participation in entrepreneurship (OECD in 2019 puts female participation at 58% compared to male’s 45% male), experts anticipate that the COVID-19 crisis will hinder the progress made in advancing women’s entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
“To this end, we are pleased to have brought together an expert panel of discussants who have made an indisputable business case for gender-inclusive practices in corporate value chains and highlighted strategies for improving the participation of women owned and run SMEs.”
Looking at the current SMEs landscape, the Executive Director, Fate Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi indicated that, “When we look at the micro segment, we see that the number of women-owned businesses is equal to men-owned businesses.
“However, as we move on to the SMEs segment, we see a drop in female participation to less than 25% which suggests that women are either dropping off or not growing as quickly as their male counterparts.”
In identifying some of the constraints female entrepreneurs face, Nigeria Country Director, WeConnect International, Yeshua Russel said, “While it is imperative that concerted efforts are made to link women to the value chains of large corporations in order to empower them, there are barriers that must be addressed which include inadequate technical capacity; low level of collaboration among women-owned businesses; and lack of access to finance.
“Consequently, we need to create more structures and systems that can educate and incorporate women to raise their level and quality of participation.”
The Director, Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business, Ghana and Nigeria, Unilever, Soromidayo George further expounded on this saying, “From our experience with Ebola and other epidemics, the economic impacts of a health crisis will have a disproportionate impact on women which will widen the gender inequality gap.
“This is particularly attributable to the harmful social norms that limit the expectations of what women can and should do especially along familial and business spectrums. We must, therefore, articulate organised ways to tackle these expectations and lay the right building blocks to achieve gender equality.”
All the panelists during the session agreed on the fundamental needs of businesses, particularly women-owned businesses as articulated by Executive Director, Business Banking, Access Bank, Ayodele Olojede.
She noted that, “In building and nurturing women-owned businesses, it is important to adopt a holistic approach that focuses on the four fundamentals of finance, information, market and technology.”
Taking this a step further, the Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Lagos Business School. Peter Bankole emphasized, “Capacity building must go beyond training in the development of women-owned businesses. Women are fast and adaptive learners but must also be given the support of mentoring and hand-holding to reach their highest potential.”
In closing out the event, the Head, Corporate Communications, NSE, Olumide Orojimi emphasised the need to continue the conversation beyond the webinar.
He said, “Bridging the gender inequality gap is a journey and it is one we must all contribute to actively. We at the NSE are proud of our efforts at advancing female participation within our operations and our ecosystem and our collaboration with IFC is one of the efforts we are truly proud of.”
It would be recalled that The Nigeria2Equal initiative was kicked-off in May with a webinar that explored the gender implications of COVID-19 for women as employees.
The conversations that ensued during that webinar highlighted the differential socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on men and women, with women predicted to face more negative impacts.
N30,000 Survival Fund: First batch of beneficiaries are receiving grants — FG
The first batch of beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s N30,000 artisans grants have started receiving their grants.
Beneficiaries in the first batch of the Federal Government’s N30,000 artisans’ grant have started receiving their grants.
This was disclosed by the Presidency via the FG’s Twitter handle on Saturday.
It tweeted, “The first batch of beneficiaries of the N30,000 artisans grant, a component of @NigeriaGov’s @SurvivalFund_ng, have started receiving their grants.
“Eligible beneficiaries are artisans and self-employed individuals. Each State will have 9,000 beneficiaries.”
UPDATE: The first batch of beneficiaries of the N30,000 artisans grant, a component of @NigeriaGov’s @SurvivalFund_ng, have started receiving their grants. Eligible beneficiaries are artisans and self-employed individuals. Each State will have 9,000 beneficiaries.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) October 31, 2020
Details soon …
CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund
The Nigerian Youth Investment Fund will be funded through the NIRSAL MFB window of the CBN.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed the implementation framework for the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund.
This was disclosed in a publication by the Development Finance Department under the auspices of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The CBN stated that the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (N-YIF) would be funded through NIRSAL MFB window, with an initial take-off seed capital of N12.5 billion.
The N-YIF aims to financially empower Nigerian youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.
Objectives of the scheme:
Improve access to finance for youths and youth-owned enterprises for national development.
Generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youth restiveness.
Boost the managerial capacity of the youths, and develop their potentials to become the future large corporate organizations.
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
The fund targets young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
Beneficiaries of NMFB, TCF and AgSMEIS loans, and other government loan schemes that remain unpaid are also not eligible to participate.
Individuals (unregistered businesses) shall be determined based on activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N250,000.
Registered businesses (Business name, Limited Liability, Cooperative, Commodity Association) shall be determined by activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N3.0 million (including working capital).
The tenor of the intervention is for a Maximum of 5 years, depending on the nature of the business and the assets acquired, of which interest rate of not more than 5% under the intervention shall be charged annually.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) will collaborate with relevant stakeholders to identify potential training for training/mentoring.
The youths that are duly screened (and undergo the mandatory training where applicable) shall be advised to login to the portal provided by the NMFB to apply for the facility.
Paystack partners Google to empower SMEs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa
Paystack partners with Google to empower over 500,000 SMEs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
Tech startup, Paystack has disclosed that it partnered with Google to aid over 500,000 Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
This was revealed via its Twitter handle.
Shola Akinlade, Founder of the company, stated that the partnership would enable the reliability of their work, “which would guarantee that all businesses paid via Paystack are thoroughly checked for legitimacy and credibility.
“In a low-trust environment like Nigeria, where many people are paying online for the first time, it’s important to deliver a safe, fraud-free experience, and this is a responsibility that Paystack takes extremely seriously.”
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
⚡️ Hi team, we partnered with our friends at @Google to help over 500,000 SMEs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa restart, recover and digitise their businesses with new tools, financial support, and training.
Get started here 👇🏾 https://t.co/0fdVl4ZUBp
— Paystack (@paystack) October 28, 2020
(READ MORE:Paypal to offer Cryptos by early 2021)
Why it matters: Paystack’s partnership with Google is to help SMEs to grow and digitise their businesses with new tools, financial support, and training. This would also help business communities in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa to rapidly grow.
What you should know: Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in internet-related services and products.
Nairametrics reported that the company had a partnership with Truecaller in 2018 to aid in the facilitation of online payments across Africa. The deal states that Paystack will use Truecaller’s database of verified phone numbers to authenticate payments for transactions executed on its platform.
Click here to apply.