The increasing number of women embracing entrepreneurship while defying the odds in Nigeria is encouraging. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, about 30% of women in business have registered their businesses in the country.
No doubt, the growing number of women entrepreneurs in the country can serve as a potential market for banks to grow their businesses, thereby enhancing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial inclusion policy.
Reports however show that despite the growing number of women in business, on the average, only about 10 percent of the women entrepreneurs have access to the finance needed to grow their business.
Agnes Moses, a PhD student at University of Ibadan told ‘Women in Business’ that the growing number of women starting out their businesses should encourage financial institutions to use the opportunity to help them grow them.
“What banks don’t understand is that these business women don’t have the kind of collateral they may request from them, but they can provide them with lots of interest from their little loans,” she said.
“If about 50 women petty traders seek small start-up loans from banks with considerable amount of interest, in about 3-5 months we all know how much these banks will cash in at the end of the day,” she noted.
Agnes further explained that the need for access to finance by women cannot be overemphasized because it would help them grow more sustainable businesses that would contribute to economic growth and development.
Bitrus J. Thomas an entrepreneurship expert said an improved access to finance for women in business is very paramount because at present, they are being recognized for having a strong role in contributing to the nation’s economic development.
“Financial institutions must take them seriously, because with their help, we can find a way out of the economic situation the country is currently into,” he said.
Source: Daily Trust