Africa is arguably the most misogynistic continent in the world, countries like Nigeria have a primary belief that a man does all the work, while a woman stays at home and takes care of the kids, a myopic and ignorant perception of the essence of the latter sex. Like all things in the modern world, there’s a reform in the way we’re thinking about things through the influence of the internet, the fight to give women equal rights in a continent that treats them terribly is an ongoing battle. By excluding women from the economy without giving them a choice, the system loses. In a recent study conducted by Development Economics on behalf of Facebook, it is estimated that businesses set up by women in Nigeria over the next five years (by 2022), hold the key to unlocking N19.7 billion for the economy, with the opportunity of creating a further 8.9 million additional jobs.
Facebook has teamed up with a female empowerment NGO She Leads Africa to launch #SheMeansBusiness an initiative aimed at a growing more female-owned businesses all over the continent. #SheMeansBusiness Nigeria will be launching first, bringing thousands of women across six states (Lagos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja and Aba) together to give them the right tools, knowledge and digital support they’ll need to start a business. The aim is to bridge the gap between female and male-owned business in the system, training 50,000+ women to help create more opportunities to help others.
We know that when women do better, economies do better. The study conducted by Development Economics further highlights this, with research suggesting that an estimated 7 million new businesses could be set up by women in Nigeria by 2021 – placing a greater importance on the role of women’s entrepreneurial ambitions for overall economic and social development in the country. – Said Ebele Okobi, Facebook Public Policy Director, Africa, to Guardian.
We gathered from The Guardian; as part of the launch a dedicated #SheMeansBusiness website will also be developed and feature:
- Inspiring stories from female trailblazers who are following their dreams. These are the entrepreneurs who are redefining what’s possible for women in business in Nigeria – inspiring those who might one day become new entrepreneurs themselves
- Free tools and resources – online courses to give more women across Nigeria the tools, support and practical advice they need to grow their businesses
- Access and information to a link of communities who can help advise and direct on setting and achieving business goals
Afua Osei, Co-Founder of She Leads Africa shared with The Guardian, “We’re excited to continue our partnership with Facebook to expand access to the digital skills necessary to move African businesses forward. We know that with the right tools and support, African women can compete on a global level and we look forward to taking these critical digital tools to entrepreneurs all across Nigeria.”