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Empower Women Entrepreneurs

The women group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)  has made a case for more energy and resources to be channelled towards grooming the next generation of female entrepreneurs as a way of tackling the high unemployment rate in the country.

Speaking at the second edition of the Group’s annual conference held in Lagos, the Chairperson of the Women Group, Mrs Adenike Sobajo, said this will only be possible when women take it as a point of duty to nurse and spur entrepreneurial spirit in their offspring from a tender age.

She explained that the aim of the conference themed ‘Developing the Next Generation of Female Entrepreneurs’ was to afford up and coming female entrepreneurs the opportunity of rubbing minds with successful business women and tapping from their wealth of experience.

“At the LCCI, the women group is ensuring that women move forward. Out of the school, we should begin to mentor them so that they can think on their own as to how to develop themselves business-wise. It is not just about making money, but adding value to their persons and to the society, Sobanjo said.

She stated that the LCCI Women Group is already in partnership with international bodies to support aspiring women entrepreneurs with start-up capital to develop their businesses.

Commending the initiative, LCCI President Mr. Remi Bello, represented by the former deputy governor, Lagos State, Mrs. Sarah Sosan, described the conference as ‘timely,’ considering the limited employment opportunities in the country. He however, urged women to remain undaunted from taking bold steps towards attaining outstanding financial height.

As Bello stated, “Most of our women are inhibited; they don’t have the confidence, and for you to go into business you must be bold regardless of whether you are going to fail or not. If you fail, you will try again. Many have started and they have failed but today, they are successful.”

The LCCI chief challenged women to strive to equip themselves with the necessary values and skills on how to access funding, start a business and be successful in their chosen field.

“There are lots of financial outfits out there, but they will always ask for collateral that people do not have. Regardless, there is one very key asset and that is getting the first start finance from friends or families. Whatever you get, don’t take it for granted.

Don’t mix business with pleasure or mix your capital with personal spending,” he advised.

The Executive Director of 141 Worldwide Limited, Mrs. Bunmi Oke, said the use of modern technology and social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and WhatsApp, among others, would afford women entrepreneurs the opportunity of global branding and recognition. “It’s all about marketing. If you cannot market yourself, you may not be successful in business,” she said.

For Managing Director, Hayil Consult, Mrs Fehintola Folusho-Onagoruwa, there is need for women to adopt a positive mind-set on entrepreneurship. She noted that succeeding in business is not entirely a function of the environment or location, rather it is about mind-set.

She said: “You need to move from being the employee to being a business owner. You are not a business owner when your enterprise cannot last one day without your presence. You must also understand the power of networking and partnering to make your business thrive.”

 

Source: The Nation Nigeria

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