Since pre-colonial days Nigerian women retained certain economic opportunities within the social system. In fact, before the middle of the twentieth century, Nigerian women traditionally played a more significant role in society than did western women. Traditional or tribal society in Nigeria expected women to be significant wage earners in the family. In addition to their kitchen duties, they largely did informal businesses – laboured in farming, fishing, herding, and commerce (for instance, pottery, cloth-making, and craft work). In fact, women traditionally had the right to profit from their work, although the money usually served as a contribution to the family income. This economic freedom was much different from many western societies, where women had to fight for the right to work.
Decades ago, women started entering the workforce and later politics. This was indeed a man’s world. Thereafter, we began to step up and claim some of their territory. But in recent years, an interesting shift is starting to occur… More and more women are returning to business but unfortunately a lot of us are still doing it the informal way.
Recently, the World Bank condemned the low percentage of women in the Nigerian business environment, saying there are only 15 per cent women in business. Country Director, World Bank, Ms Marie Francois Marie-Nelly, made the assertion, when the bank launched investment climate assessment report in Abuja in August 2012, adding that Nigeria’s business climate was unfair to women. “As a result, women are only concentrated on informal sector, which means that they are facing challenges of lower earnings and difficulty to sustain their activities,” she said.
As women, we need to honour who we are, look beyond the challenges we face, work with a purpose and passion, and create an amazing business that can sustain and supports us. There are women out there that are getting it right and proving their mettle in the areas of business.
Working in the capacity of Independent Business Monitor for the awardees of the first Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN!) Programme under School for Start-Ups UK, it has become more obvious that Nigerian women need more business-building tips. However, this situation is a global phenomenon. So whether you’re just getting your first venture off the ground, or you’ve been in business for years and you’re ready to play big, get ready for powerful advice and resources that you can start applying to your business NOW.
There’s never been a better time. Options for self-employment and building a business you actually love are everywhere! But it’s also an urgent time. The opportunities are right here, but it’s time to catch this wave before it’s gone.
You will be reading my articles here packed with relevant information to help you launch, run, and grow your business. You will be equipped with foundational techniques that will to succeed, regardless of the challenges. With fresh, timely topics and practical tips with a feminine edge, I promise you’re in for a real treat!
So ladies, are you seeing the same trends that I am? How has it affected you? Please share in the comment section below.
To your success,
Writer: Olanrewaju Oniyitan is the Founder/CEO of W-Holistic Business Solutions, a firm set up to help entrepreneurs succeed. Lanre is a seasoned writer, professional speaker, trainer, consultant and an enterprise advocate. She particularly enjoys helping people start-up their businesses and assisting early stage companies prepare for significant growth. She also specializes in talent acquisition & headhunting for entrepreneurs seeking top talent for their teams. Lanre has a strong passion for women and entrepreneurial development. She has been featured on various media and on various panels, seminars and conferences due to her contribution to entrepreneurship in Nigeria. She provides entrepreneurial advice through her “Let’s Talk Business” platform.
Full biography: http://w-hbs.com/team/mrs-olanrewaju-oniyitan-founder-ceo/