- The gender gap among male and female entrepreneurs in Nigeria has narrowed significantly in recent years
- A recently published report shows women are no longer staying on the sideline and are closing in on the number of men in business
- The report showed that the relative gender gap in entrepreneurship, measured as the ratio of female to male entrepreneurs is now placed at 0.75
Fate foundation has revealed that in the last few years women have closed the gender gap in the number of people running a business in Nigeria.
It stated this in a report titled the state of entrepreneurship in Nigeria report 2021 published on its website.
According to the report, the percentage difference between men and women-led businesses is currently 57% and 43% respectively.
Breakdown of entrepreneurs by states
In the majority of the states considered for the fate foundation survey, men were more likely to start a business than women except in seven states.
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The states are Abia, Bauchi, Edo, Gombe, Kwara, Lagos, and Oyo.
The aforementioned states according to the report have more women entrepreneurs than men.
The highest rate of female-led businesses was in Lagos, with 6% of total women-owned businesses in the country.
Why women-led business is important
Fate foundation noted that while there is a higher-than-expected participation rate of women in entrepreneurship, significant disparities still exist across states, with only a few states having a high prevalence rate of female entrepreneurs.
According to the organization, the increase in the number of women-led businesses has far-reaching implications for the economic benefits of inclusiveness in entrepreneurship.
"Increasing female participation in entrepreneurship will result in further improvement in job creation rates, in the level of innovation in the country, and in income levels."
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Impact of COVID-19 on women-led businesses
Fate foundation disclosed that the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 came to many women-led businesses as a shock but there were others who gained from it.
It listed the business to include firms in the agriculture, health, telecommunications and ICT sectors.
"These firms reported higher sales/revenue due to an increase in demand for their products/services."
While for the negative impact the report revealed that businesses in sales, operational efficiency, and cash flow were affected due to low demand, disruption of value chains.
Challenges for women-led business
In the report, it also listed some of the challenges facing women-led businesses
- Poor access to finance
- Poor financial management
- Poor government policies and regulation
- Poor capacity building and support
- Poor technology adoption
- Energy and infrastructure challenge
- Poor access to input materials for manufacturing
- Foreign exchange challenges
- Multiple taxations
- Unskilled workforce
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Meanwhile, Flutterwave founder, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, said he is willing to help women-owned businesses through fundraising.
Aboyeji said he and others who care about women entrepreneurs will raise funds for credit startups focused on the female gender.
Another entrepreneur, Edmund Oloto, said he will provide resources for any woman who plans to offer a loan service.