The Association of Nigerian Business Women Network (ANWBN) organised a membership sensitisation forum at the Radisson Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. The event which brought women entrepreneurs and other stakeholders looked at the challenges facing women’s businesses, potential and how to maximise the opportunities through networking.
National Coordinator of ANWBN, Chief (Mrs.) Nana Anita Okuribido welcomed new members on board and took time to talk about the achievements of the organisation over the years.
“The organisation is an umbrella of all women-owned businesses and professions. These are women who are very privileged to have this great opportunity to propose to all the BMOs here about the ongoing progress in Nigeria with the collective drive for community development, capacity building and sustainable increase in their learning power through local occupations and resources which would break the circle of poverty in Nigeria and build a better life through a microenterprise development. We are a coalition with a membership of over one million entrepreneurs and with the new members joining us today, over 1.5 million members. We all have the common goal of encouraging, improving sustainable entrepreneurial development amongst women through research, policy reforms initiatives and follow-ups implementations.”
On her part, Country Director, Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Mrs. Omowunmi Gbadamosi, the event was very important and strategic. “This is history in the making. Since ANWBN was created by CIPE, this is the first membership development effort. All of you that have applied to be members of this great network are welcomed.”
Gbadamosi went on to congratulate the national coordinator and her team for a good job as well as talk about CIPE and the focus of the organisation. “We need to work very hard. It is not going to be business as usual. As mothers, we have got to be determined and project into the future in all that we do be of credit especially to the succeeding generation.
“Women entrepreneurs worldwide face barriers and are faced with laws and policies that restrict their ability. CIPE fosters economic empowerment and partnerships amongst civil society, the private sector, and government. You cannot have democratic governance without the inclusion of women. Women are part of the society and that is why we work with women across the world to strengthen their participation in the public and private sectors. There is a connection between women’s political participation and economic empowerment. If women have a voice in policy making, they can make decisions that would change their world. If women are empowered and can take care of their own material needs, they are more likely to be able to meet their own political needs. If you are aspiring for political office and you are not economically empowered it won’t work.
“Work on women’s empowerment should go beyond individual needs. In most countries, institutions affect women differently from men and without a focus on institutional reforms, it is difficult to achieve a long-lasting impact.”
She went on to talk about similar platforms that CIPE had supported across the world, the opportunities and potential. “There are forty-eight countries that limited the industries in which women can work.”
Mrs. Mope Abudu gave a detailed presentation on the entrepreneurial mindset for growth, while Dr. Basheer Oshodi of Sterling Bank and his team told the women about the interest-free loan of opportunities, training, and other benefits available for their businesses.