The need to equip Nigerian women with the skills needed to take on leadership roles within the business ecosystem across the country has received a N41.6 billion (£74 million) boost from the UK government.
Jonathan Bacon, policy adviser to the UK High Commission, dropped the note at Nigeria Info’s Glass Ceiling Conference 2022 in Lagos, saying to support Nigerian women’s entrepreneurial activities £74million has been allocated by the UK government to support women’s empowerment . own companies across the country.
He said: “During the recent visit of Vicky Ford, UK Secretary of State for Africa, to Nigeria in February 2022, she announced a new £74 million (N41.6 billion) financial package to support women entrepreneurs across Nigeria who face disproportionate obstacles to business.
This aims to improve business operations for women entrepreneurs and improve the Nigerian economy.” Commenting on the need for organizations to support women’s inclusion, Jonathan Bacon noted that women have an essential role to play in driving transformational change.
“Employers should strive to create a culture where people, especially women, can thrive while ensuring that a support system is developed within the workplace structure.
This is seen as necessary as the UK Government has recognized that women and girls have a crucial role to play in fueling the economic growth that will lift millions of people out of poverty worldwide.”
He went on to note that the UK government’s desire to encourage talks on women’s inclusion hinges on the fact that women’s rights are human rights, saying: “Our action for women’s inclusion is guarded by three E’s – education for girls ; Empowerment of women in socio-economic and political terms; End violence against women and girls.
These 3 E’s underpin the development work the UK Government is doing across Nigeria.” Efe Ukala, the founder of ImpactHER, urged women to break the stereotypes in the Nigerian business landscape and advised women to have a structured plan to help them to overcome challenges they may encounter.
She said: “To break the boardroom bias, as a woman you must rise to the top regardless of the challenges along the way. To do this, you need to have a strong goal as this is a crucial factor that will help you know what you want to achieve.
This will help you assess yourself frequently to discover how you can make remarkable contributions in the corporate world.”
Other speakers at the conference included: Co-Founders and General Partners, FirstCheck Africa, Eloho Omame; Policy Programs Manager for Africa, Meta, Simbo Olatoregun; Chief Economist, Coronation Merchant Bank, Chinwe Egwim; Chief Executive Officer, Herconomy, Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti; and Founder, Chief Obubu, Christine Obute Otigba – noted the urgent need to identify the barriers preventing women from owning successful and scalable businesses in Nigeria’s business landscape.
The Glass Ceiling Convention is a socially driven intervention by Nigeria Info that aims to advocate for women’s empowerment through prominent strategic partnerships with globally recognized organizations.