Women entrepreneurs play a critical role in economic development by boosting growth and creating jobs yet, they face numerous challenges to financing and growing a sustainable business, including limited access to capital, technology, networks and knowledge resources. In recent times, government and private organisations have started implementing initiatives to address these challenges and support female entrepreneurs in the areas of business training, development, advisory and access to funds.
Here are five ways women entrepreneurs in Nigeria can access funds for their businesses;
Flourish Africa Grants
The Flourish Africa Grant for female entrepreneurs is a N1billion fund to support and promote female-owned businesses in Nigeria. The programme is designed to empower the entrepreneurial activities of at least 2,500 female business owners through funding and structured training over a five-year period by providing cash and organised training. Through the programme, a minimum of 500 female entrepreneurs would be educated each year, after which the top 100 achievers from the pool would be eligible for grants of up to N2 million each.
Herconomy Enterprise Challenge
The ‘Enterprise Challenge’ by Herconomy is designed to empower female-led businesses financially and through grants and continuous mentorship. The annual challenge is opened to female-owned businesses that address at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals and is registered with CAC. Participants get to pitch their business to a group of judges and get the chance to win grants of up to N3 million and possibly get investments.
MTN Y’ellopreneur
The Y’ellopreneur initiative recently launched by the MTN Foundation, aims to build the entrepreneurship skills of 500 Women and support 100 small and medium businesses across the country with a business loan of 2million naira. The program is targeted at female entrepreneurs who display passion and commitment to self-employment and run an existing business of two years and above, especially in the areas of manufacturing and processing.
Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Africa
The Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Africa programme is designed to provide female owned businesses across Africa an opportunity to access finance, world-class business training as well as mentoring opportunities. The programme is designed as a 3-month period comprising 12 weeks of mini-MBA training in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and pitching sessions to a Pan-African Jury panel where the top one hundred (100) finalists will pitch their businesses, infusing learnings from the mini-MBA and will stand an opportunity to win financial grants and other consolation prizes.
Women in Tech Incubator
The Women in Tech Incubator (WITI) program aims to support female entrepreneurship, align with calls for more diversity in tech and provide more opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership expertise.  The goal of the Women in Tech Incubator in Nigeria is to provide incubation support designed to target early-to-mid stage female professionals from technology and business sectors. The program is targeted at women-led start-up businesses based in Nigeria and which aligns with the United Nations SDG’s.
 




 
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