Facebook: Nigerian Women Can Unlock N19.7bn Businesses in Five Years

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Emma Okonji

Given the potential of Nigerian women in driving businesses, Facebook has predicted that businesses set up by women in Nigeria over the next five yearsc, could rake in as much as N19.7 billion for the economy, with the opportunity of creating a further 8.9 million additional jobs.

Facebook made the disclosure on Tuesday in Lagos, during the launch of #SheMeansBusiness, an initiative designed to inspire and train female entrepreneurs across the country to build, grow and start their own businesses.

Facebook, which based its forecast on the a recent study conducted by Development Economics on behalf of Facebook, said all over the world, women are known for their dexterity in handling businesses and Nigerian women have proved that right.

Facebook Public Policy Director, Africa, Ebele Okobi, said: “We know that when women do better, economies do better.”

Facebook’s SMB Sales Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Abi Williams, said: “In Nigeria women form the backbone of a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the number of new women-owned small business Pages on Facebook increasing by 319 per cent between 2016 and 2017.”

The study, according to Facebook, suggested that an estimated seven million new businesses could be set up by women in Nigeria by 2021, placing a greater importance on the role of women’s entrepreneurial ambitions for overall economic and social development in the country.

Partnering with She Leads Africa (SLA), #SheMeansBusiness Nigeria is the first to launch in sub-Saharan Africa and us expected to bring together, thousands of female entrepreneurs in a series of day workshops and training sessions across six cities in Nigeria, including Lagos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja and Aba.

With applications opening at sheleadsafrica.org/shemeansbusiness, training sessions will then be followed by post-training clinics aimed at re-engaging, advising and mentoring participants.

As part of the launch, a dedicated #SheMeansBusiness website will also be developed to serve as a platform to inspiring stories from female trailblazers who are following their dreams. These are the entrepreneurs who are redefining what’s possible for women in business in Nigeria – inspiring those who might one day become new entrepreneurs themselves. The platform will also provide free tools and resources for online courses to give more women across Nigeria the tools, support and practical advice they need to grow their businesses.

Commenting on the partnership and trainings Co-founder of She Leads Africa, Afua Osei, added: “We are excited to continue our partnership with Facebook to expand access to the digital skills necessary to move African businesses forward. We know that with the right tools and support, African women can compete on a global level and we look forward to taking these critical digital tools to entrepreneurs all across Nigeria.”

The Policy Programmes Manager, EMEA at Facebook, Sherry Dzinoreva, explained that SheMeansBusiness is an aspect of the Facebook’s ambition to train over 50,000 female youths on Digital skills. She added that the platform has a website that contains stories of women trailblazing new business opportunities in the world and hence serves as a source of inspiration for the young females.

Explaining the necessity of the initiative, she said the idea was borne out of the belief that the community grows when the women grow.