Facebook unveils ‘SheMeansBusiness’ to boost women entrepreneurship

Socia media giant, Facebook, on Tuesday in Lagos, unveiled an initiative known as ”SheMeansBusiness” to boost women entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

Facebook’s Public Policy Director, Africa, Ms Ebele Okobi, said at the launch that the initiative was designed to inspire and train female entrepreneurs.

Okobi said that the initiative would inspire women to start and grow their own businesses.

According to Okobi, a recent study conducted by Development Economics on behalf of Facebook, shows that businesses set up by women in Nigeria in the next five years, hold the key to unlocking N19.7 billion for Nigeria’s economy.

According to her, the study also shows that such businesses have the opportunity of creating 8.9 million jobs.

”We know that when women do better, economies do better.

”The study conducted by Development Economics further highlights this, with the research suggesting that an estimated seven million new businesses could be set up by women in Nigeria by 2021.

”This places a greater importance on women’s entrepreneurial ambitions for overall economic and social development of the country,” she said.

The Policy Programmes Manager, EMEA, Facebook, Ms Sherry Dzinoreva, said that the initiative was the first in Africa, noting that it had been launched in Turkey, United Kingdom, and Mexico, among other countries.

Dzinorewa said that SheMeansBusiness was  aimed to train 50,000 female small and mediun entrepreneurs and create opportunities that would inspire and empower others.

SMB Sales Manager, EMEA, Facebook, Ms Abi Williams, said that Facebook created platforms that democratised marketing and capitalised on the use of mobile phones.

Williams advised small and medium business operators to utilise opportunities provided by Facebook as a digital platform.

She listed funds constraint, lack of knowledge of how to start and unpreparedness as some hindrances to women’s development of interest in businesses.

According to her, in order to bridge the confidence gap, it is imperative for women to be connected to people who will motivate them to do more.

She said that such motivations should include the desire to make money and create jobs.

Ms Afua Osei, Co-founder of ‘She Leads Africa’, said that the organisation was partnering with Facebook to train women in SMEs to grow their businesses.

Osei said that ‘She Leads Africa’ would continue partnership with Facebook in order to expand access to the digital skills necessary to move African businesses forward.

She said that with the right digital tools and support, African women would compete at the global level.

According to her, SheMeansBusiness will bring together thousands of female entrepreneurs in a series of workshops and training sessions across six cities in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the six cities include Lagos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja and Aba. (NAN)

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