The Wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun has called for increased support for women in business to foster all-round development.
Speaking at the Capacity building tagged “Supporting Women Businesses to Scale Up in 2020”, sponsored by the First City Monument Bank an initiative focused on boosting the economic capacity of women and offering both financial and non-financial support to small and medium scale enterprises for Ogun women at Mitros, Resort Hotel, Ibara Housing estate in Abeokuta.
Mrs Abiodun noted that Financial empowerment remains one of the most powerful means for eradicating poverty among women in the developing world and financial education is what actualises the full value of any financial endowment.
She said ” I am happy, my office also had the opportunity to nominate one hundred and fifty women entrepreneurs, with businesses registered and operational in Ogun State.
She enjoined women who attended to take all they have been given at the program to improve themselves, their businesses and eventually become viable business templates for other women in Ogun state and beyond.
In her words, the Executive Director, Business Development, FCMB , Mrs Bukola Smith said the initiative is one of the innovative ways to empower, promote and support the growth ofi women in business.
it could be quite difficult for their businesses to succeed. We believe this training will go a long way to impact positively on the SME operators who have participated in this programme.
It will propel them to further develop themselves in order to compete favourably within and outside Ogun market. We, therefore, urge the beneficiaries to take advantage of the unique opportunities provided by this exercise, because it is a veritable platform for them to take the lead in driving the diversification and growth of the Nigerian economy’’, she said.
She added that this will also enable Ogun women to have access to business management skills and advisory services, learn and acquire competencies which they can apply for effective management of their respective businesses in a sustainable manner.
“We know that women are a good bet. We know they pay back. We know they run excellent businesses and getting financed by our bank,” said Mrs Smith
According to one of the facilitators, “This is an important step for Central Bank of Nigeria CBN to offer credit guarantees to commercial banks to invest in women entrepreneurs, Chales Okon said.
“We know that if we provide those guarantees, then the banks are going to be lending to a lot more women, and they are going to discover that women are an excellent in business and investment.”
Participants at the summit called on governments to undertake policy and legal reforms to increase women entrepreneurs’ access to financial services, government contracts, and the basic infrastructure of the digital economy.
FCMB is playing its part as a skillful gardener alongside other stakeholders to ensure the sustained health and continuous growth of all the SMEs that have subscribed and partnered with us in the initiative’’.
“I appreciate FCMB. The programme was very enlightening and a full package of information. I have realized that apart from funds, all businesses also need training to succeed’’.
Another beneficiary Mrs. Adebiyi Adeeko, stated that: “The programme by FCMB is very impressive and an eye-opener.
“It provided me with comprehensive business training and mentorship. This will help me understand the needs of my customers and how best I can meet such needs.”
Beyond the capacity building programme, FCMB has a number of cutting-edge offerings in the SMEs segment in Nigeria.