Federal Government may need to do more in supporting Women Entrepreneurs to succeed in business through easy access to funds. This is even as the women Entrepreneurs have stated that only single digit interest loan is what can be practicable for them to play active role in the economy.
The NECA’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW), yesterday said the 15 per cent offered by the commercial banks on the Bank of Industry (BOI) loans is still beyond the reach of the women Entrepreneurs.
The President of NNEW, Mrs. Modupe Oyekunle, addressing the media on the forthcoming 2018 NNEW annual summit next Thursday, said though it is now easier to access the loan, but difficult for any woman to break even with a business run with 15 per cent interest rate.
She said: “Access to funding is very critical in business. We believe that the Bank of Industry (BoI) should give the commercial bank the loans at five per cent so that these commercial banks would be able to give us the fund at 9 per cent. Single digit is what we can operate on.
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“We know that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) fund is there and banks often gives me calls to inform my members to come for the funds. But how many women can access it. All we are telling the Federal Government is that access to funds should be easy for us and we want it at single digit.”
The NNEW president said it was important for the providers of the funds to give capacity to the women on how they could effectively utilise the funds, stressing that this would be what women who women entrepreneurs will enjoy.
She lamented that proliferation of regulatory bodies has also been a great challenge to the Organised Private Sector (OPS), most especially the women in business irrespective of the line of business they are operating in.
“ Specifically it is unfortunate that the government wants us to pay VAT by all means despite the fact that we are not charging VAT on our goods and services, if they go through our books and they see us collecting VAT, let them charge us, but if we don’t collect and we don’t have any means to enforce this, why should government continue to make things difficult for us?”, she querried.
Oyekunle noted that another challenge being an impediment to women in business is that of mentorship, adding that while there is godfatherism for men in business and politics, there is nothing known as motherism.
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She added further, “We have identified this problem and that gap is what we have been filling in NNEW, we believe in collaboration and helping others to grow, we have been able to support over 3,000 women to grow their businesses through loans from our cooperatives and mentorship. We will be doing more at this summit, whose theme is “Unite! Women Collaborating for Growth”
The chairperson for the summit committee, Wellington Olaitan also explained that participants at the summit, besides learning new trends in business would likewise get opportunity to win a capacity building training trip to Turin in Italy.