Hundreds of Nigerian female entrepreneurs joined women in 143 other nations to officially celebrate the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day last week in Lagos. The annual event was commemorated as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2015. Held as a partnership between the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan-Atlantic University and Joan Agha Foundation (JAF),
Hundreds of Nigerian female entrepreneurs joined women in 143 other nations to officially celebrate the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day last week in Lagos. The annual event was commemorated as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2015.
Held as a partnership between the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan-Atlantic University and Joan Agha Foundation (JAF), the Women’s Day event was rife with discussions on issues that are peculiar to female-owned businesses in Nigeria. Participants were charged to step up and become platforms for change by operating businesses, and impacting the society with whatever resource is available to them.
“Women love free things! Stop seeking freebies for your business, learn instead to barter.” That was Today’s Woman publisher, Adesuwa Onyenokwe while speaking on the topic – Bras, Business, and Bottom-line. She also said that women must start doing business right, hire a lawyer and an accountant and have standard operations.
Rather than operating non-profit organizations, the Academic Director at the Lagos Business School – Dr. Henrietta Onwuegbuzie urged women to turn to for-profit, social impact businesses. It was stated emphatically that non-profit ventures most often fail. She also mentioned how big corporations are turning to impact investing as against corporate social responsibility.
During a panel session titled: Women Mean Business, Mrs. Nneka Isaac-Moses of Goge Africa had this to say as well – “If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will. You must have a strong conviction about your vision or you will not make it. Besides, there is no success without a successor, and we are not talking about your children. Groom people to sustain your business when you’re gone”.
Also speaking at the event was Mrs. Aisha Ahmad -newly appointed Chairperson of WIMBIZ and she charged women entrepreneurs to be focused in their pursuits, “Women are always enthusiastic about learning, but be focused in your learning”.
The CEO of Joan Agha Foundation, Mrs. Joan Agha while delivering her keynote address said that the life she has always known is a communal one in which everybody shared their resources to help those in need. JAF has empowered many women in the Makoko area of Lagos among others, feeding families and giving seed money to widows and single mothers so they could start businesses. Some of the beneficiaries were at hand to share their stories as well.
The 2015 WED event, which held at the Lagos Oriental hotel was supported by Diamond Woman. Other panelists at the event include Mrs. Sola babatunde of OSC Fashion, Sandra Aguebor of the Lady Mechanic Initiative, Chioma Agha of Swish Ideas, Mary Olushoga of AWP Networks, and Adenike Adeyemi – ED Fate Foundation.
GEW is the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who drive economic growth and expand human welfare. It holds every November in 188 countries worldwide.