Report Highlights How Women Can Boost Nigeria’s Economy

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    Emma Okonji
    Women who want to start their own businesses have the potential to boost the Nigerian economy by N19.7 billion, according to research released by Facebook.

    The study, conducted by Development Economists on behalf of Facebook, also revealed that if the number of women who said they were ‘very likely’ to start a business did so, which is put at 44 per cent, this would create over seven million new businesses within four years and over 8.9 million jobs within five years.

    Compared to men, women are more likely to be interested in setting up businesses in Food & Drink, which is put at 30 per cent, Tourism & Leisure, 13 per cent, Lifestyle 10 per cent and Business Services 10 per cent. The motivations for women wanting to set-up a business also varies, with financial gains among the highest at 56 per cent, followed by wanting to create job opportunities for family or other people at 45 per cent, those wanting to work around family commitments, 40 per cent and those wanting to be their own boss, 39 per cent.

    According to the report, lack of access to finance, which ranked 36 per cent, was cited as the main barrier to women setting up independently.

    Facebook’s research also showed that among those likely to start a business, not sure of how to get started was 32 per cent, not feeling prepared or ready was 30 per cent and lack of access to premises or equipment is 26 per cent, explaining that they are the key reasons holding them back from taking this step.

    This impact women at every stage of their life –with women over 55 being less likely to start a business followed by those between 35-44, the report said.

    Analysing the report, Facebook SMB Sales Manager EMEA, Abi Williams, said, “Facebook recognises how important women are in building stable economies, and the potential impact of this in Nigeria is encouraging to see.

    “We know that when women do better, economies do better, and with the right support, tools and trainings in place, Nigerian women entrepreneurs can, and will be able to compete on a global level.”

    In terms of the use of online tools to facilitate the sale of products or services to potential customers, the proportion of female managers in Nigeria reporting the use of such tools was put at 83 per cent compared to 74 per cent for males.

    The report said a slightly higher proportion of female business managers that reported the use of online tools to enable customers to pay for products or services was 39 per cent for females compared to 37 per cent for males.
    Overall, of those women who are very interested in setting up a business, over 4.1 million appear to want to set up their business within one. year. A further 2.5 million anticipate establishing their business within two or three years, and 378,000 say they expect it would be more than four years in the future, the report added.