Women’s Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Policies in Nigeria by Temitope Akinsemoyin

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Women are a very important driving force for economic growth, and it is crucial to recognize the immense potential they possess to contribute to the development of the country.

One of the foundational pillars of women’s economic empowerment is access to quality education and skills development.
In Nigeria, it is necessary for policymakers to prioritize the girl child’s education, ensuring her access to primary, secondary, and tertiary education. By investing in girls’ education, we not only lay the foundation for their economic empowerment but also contribute to breaking down gender barriers.

Furthermore, digital skills,vocational and technical training programs targeted at young women can equip them with the necessary skills to initiate and sustain businesses. These programs should focus on improving financial literacy, marketing strategies, and leadership skills, empowering young women to venture into entrepreneurship.

Moreover, Lack of access to finance and credit facilities remains a significant obstacle for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Policymakers should implement strategies that address the gender financing gap and create opportunities for women to access capital. This includes establishing systems to ensure women have readily available and equal access to grants, soft loans, credit facilities, and investment opportunities.

A practical and successful approach is the establishment of microcredit facilities specifically targeted at women entrepreneurs. These microcredit programs should serve as a bridge to the financing gap, allowing women to start and expand their businesses. Additionally, innovative digital platforms for financial transactions can be promoted, enabling more women entrepreneurs to access financial services in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Additionally, to foster a conducive environment for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, policymakers need to enact and enforce gender-sensitive legal reforms.

It is vital to amend existing laws and regulations to eradicate gender-based discrimination in employment and business. This includes promoting equal pay, equal opportunities for career advancement, and eliminating workplace harassment. By doing so, we ensure that women have a fair chance to compete and succeed in the business arena.
Also, existing and emerging policies should prioritize women’s ownership and control of assets such as land and property.

Simplifying land ownership procedures and granting women secure property rights will not only enhance their economic status but also enable them to use their assets as collateral for accessing financial services.
Establishing supportive networks and mentorship programs can significantly contribute to women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship in Nigeria. These platforms provide access to valuable guidance, resources, and networks to help women entrepreneurs navigate the challenges they face.
In collaboration with relevant stakeholders and investors,policymakers should create mentorship programs that connect successful women entrepreneurs with aspiring ones. Equally important is the establishment of women’s entrepreneurship networks and associations, which can facilitate knowledge sharing, capacity building, and peer support.

In Conclusion, Women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship are vital drivers of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Nigeria. Policymakers must prioritize education, access to finance, legal reforms, and the creation of supportive networks and mentorship programs. Harnessing the potential of Nigeria’s women entrepreneurs will not only improve the lives of women but also contribute to the overall development of the country. It is time for Nigeria to adopt these policies and ensure that women have equal opportunities to thrive as both entrepreneurs and career professionals.

 

Temitope Sule Akinsemoyin, is a post doctoral fellow in the field of Strategic Management and Leadership at New York
Learning Hub, New York, USA.

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