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FSDH as Enabler for Growth of Female Led Businesses in Nigeria

FSDH as Enabler for Growth of Female Led Businesses in Nigeria

Oluchi Chibuzor

FSDH Group, a financial services powerhouse recently hosted the 2nd edition of its Women in Business Initiative themed, “Women on the Rise; Leveraging Technology, Community and Capital.” The event, which held in Lagos was well attended by women and men from all walks of life, especially those in Business and Technology. FSDH Women in Business Initiative was set up last year as FSDH’s contribution to the female economy – enabling more women in the world of business to thrive in their chosen areas of endeavor. The event targeted business leaders, startup founders, leading career women from different aspects of the female economy and focused on how women can leverage technology, utilize community and get empowered with capital.

In her opening address, MD/CEO FSDH Merchant Bank, Bukola Smith said “In the post-pandemic era, the world has seen tremendous growth in the adoption of technology and it became pertinent for us to address the numerous possibilities of Technology, Community and Capital as key components to business success. This initiative affords us an opportunity to contribute to the growth of the female economy in Nigeria, and we will do so by empowering women with capital and supporting their businesses at scale.”

Delivering the Keynote Address, Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne Technologies spoke about the impact that her network and community had in growing her business through the years. “Community was essential as I raised the first 3million of 240million to fund MainOne as a greenfield company. To get my community to provide capital to fund my vision, I had from my savings, hired advisors, consultants, prepared feasibility assessments, negotiated engineering construction contracts, applied for licenses and even began to engage international investors to convince my friends and family that their money was going into a credible venture that would yield returns” Now, there are many more opportunities for us as women to lean on, to build, and to pivot as we achieve the success that we desire” she said. 

The first panel discussion, anchored by Olive Emodi, Award Winning Compere featured Tosin Olaseinde, Founder Money Africa, Damilola Olokesusi, Founder Shuttlers, and Debola Deji-Kurumi, Transformation Catalyst & Founder Immerse Coaching Company, highlighted the important role of female communities in the growth of businesses. In their conversations, the women established that visionary women are set apart from the normal everyday woman primarily because they are purpose driven and focused on accessing all the resources they need to unlock the future they desire. 

The second panel featured Solape Akinpelu, Founder HerVest, Olu Akanmu, Co-CEO O-pay Nigeria, Ashim Egunjobi, Investor Octerra Capital and Yanmo Omorogbe, Co-founder Bamboo. This session highlighted the numerous ways women could position their business for global funding opportunities. 

Another highpoint of the event was the unveiling of the FSDH Women in Business Desk which will in fact provide female led businesses with access to finance, network, business education and markets. In her announcement, the Head, Women in Business Desk, FSDH Merchant Bank, Gold Nwoke stated that the bank was willing to hand-hold women to create bespoke products and services that would help their business growth. 

Furthermore, FSDH as part of its commitment to truly empower businesses announced a soon to commence Incubator Program for female tech entrepreneurs in the country. The program will run for 6-weeks and will include intense learning and mentorship sessions, Masterclasses covering various areas of business and ultimately a pitch day that will culminate in non-equity grants for a select few. 

FSDH has and will continue to bridge the gap that women led businesses face in accessing funding, and will provide more opportunities and platforms for women to access capital, community, network and investor opportunities for the growth of the economy. 

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