Mr Olawale Fasanya, the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has reiterated the agency’s commitment to improve the lives of women through entrepreneurial skills.
Fasanya said this on Tuesday in Abuja when he declared open a two-day capacity building workshop for members of Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA).
Reports have it that the workshop organised by SMEDAN in collaboration with NAOWA was on institutional support programme for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
He said that the training aimed at empowering 50 women to start and run sustainable businesses as well as improve business and financial management.
According to the SMEDAN boss, it will also position them for strong resource mobilisation, application and enable them have sound business planning.
“This will therefore, create wealth, generate employment and reduce poverty,’’ Fasanya said.
While expressing delight that Nigerian women entrepreneurs demonstrated tremendous potential for enterprise, Fasanya canvassed more support for them.
“It is imperative that the government and ecosystem players take a more intentional approach to supporting this demographic segment for greater impact.
“This is particularly since investing in female-led business produces ripple benefits that triggers employment generation, poverty reduction and wealth creation.
“With increasing growth and participation of women in entrepreneurial activities, there is an increasing need to better understand how to support them.
“It is important to invest in policies and programmes that enable and boost entrepreneurial performance and sustainable growth for female-led businesses,’’ Fasanya said.
He said that women were redefining entrepreneurship as a route to socio-economic empowerment.
“The Federal Government through SMEDAN is poised to ensure the realisation of this potential through capacity building programmes and strategies which would sharpen their entrepreneurial and organisational skills,’’ Fasanya said.
Earlier, the President of NAOWA, Mrs Salamatu Yahaya, said that the training demonstrated part of NAOWA’s commitment to revive the NAOWA Institute of Management and Technology (NIMAT) Mambilla Barracks Abuja.
“I am indeed happy that the SMEDAN intervention is the first training that will be taking place in the institute.
“This is in my quest to revive the NAOWA Institute of Management and Technology as well as scale up entrepreneurship skills for members.”
She urged participants to see it as an empowerment opportunity that they would leverage on to carve out a niche for themselves to become successful entrepreneurs and inspiration to others.
“It is a fact that when you empower a woman, you have empowered the whole family.
“Therefore, this programme is about curbing poverty from yourself, in your family and the Nigerian Army family.
“It is about becoming a reference point for others to gain inspiration from and to follow. Having appropriate business skills will raise your standard of living and productivity,’’ Yahaya said.
Responding on behalf of the participants, Mrs Grace Gambo pledged that that they would put the knowledge acquired from the training to good use.
“We will use it judiciously to improve our businesses, our homes and contribute to the growth of the country’s economy,’’ Gambo said.