Today, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women celebrated an innovative new initiative to empower women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Developed with the support of the ExxonMobil Foundation, the Road to Women’s Business Growth project aims to inspire women owners of small businesses in Nigeria by building their management and financial literacy skills.
Women entrepreneurs worldwide face significant barriers to accessing financial services. Research shows that women-owned entities represent more than 30 percent of registered businesses globally, but only 10 percent of women entrepreneurs have access to the capital needed to grow their businesses. In Nigeria, there is a persistent gender gap in financial inclusion, with only 34 percent of women having access to a bank account versus 54 percent of men.
The Road to Women’s Business Growth initiative aims to address this gap by building the business management and financial literacy skills of women entrepreneurs, empowering them with the knowledge and tools they need to grow profitable and sustainable businesses. The project is implemented in collaboration with the Enterprise Development Centre of Pan-Atlantic University, Diamond Bank and Emerging360.
The initiative kicked off at the end of 2015 in Lagos, Abuja and Uyo. To date, 500 women small business owners have received training in business management and financial literacy.