As the Current National Coordinator of Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN), what are the key areas you have helped female entrepreneurs in order to boost their businesses to impact Nigeria’s economy?
The following areas have been pivotal to boosting businesses: Advocacy, ANWBN, through her Women National Business Agenda ( WNBA), has been advocating for policy reforms in the area of Insecurity, Gender Inequality, Power, Access to Finance and good Road network. More information can be gotten from the printed version of the WNBA shared at the summit.
Capacity Building: We regularly train female entrepreneurs and do provide avenues for mentoring. We also build capacities of the various member organisations so they can provide benefits to their members and serve them adequately.
Linkages: We have and continue to build alliances that will give opportunities to our member organisations which will in turn reach their own members.
The theme for this year’s ANWBN Summit is “Expanding Possibilities”, how can women in business explore it and what impact do you hope this summit will make Nationally?
The summit sub topics were a reflection of the aims and objectives of the Summit: 1. Ensuring Associations see themselves from a coalition perspective and not working in silos, because working together makes us walk far.
2. Political participation of women both in governance and policy making is critical to women development so that we are sitting at the table where decisions are being taken about us and with us. We must ensure gender is mainstreamed in all aspects of national development.
3. Building our businesses with the view to scale up and not remain stagnant. Growth measures should be put in place and accurate vision to achieve the intended outcome.
4. Ensuring access to finance is not just on paper by finance institutions but a promise kept, hence the engagement. Finally, it was a time to network and interract with other BMO leaders accross the nation.
As the National Coordinator of Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN), how have you raised awareness on the need for gender equality in Corporate Organizations?
We have been able to do this through our advocacy document sent to all stakeholders on our research and the need to ensure gender equality. We also organised a policy dialogue with all agencies, Ministries and government parastatals and we will continue to engage until the bill passed is implemented across board.
In 2007, you established Masterpiece Resource Development Centre with a mission, what inspired you to take that bold step then?
I had a dream of seeing young people discover themselves, developed and deployed to fulfill their God given purpose whilst ensuring they are economically empowered. My background with educational and development institutes also inspired me and over the years it’s been rewarding seeing the success stories of thousands of young people starting their own businesses and some today are sponsoring others.
Through the Masterpiece Resource Development Center, 10,000 persons and more have been impacted, how did you achieve this?
Through our capacity building programs, our entrepreneurial network, annual conferences and cooperative multipurpose society.
Tell us more about the Masterpiece Schools Which you established as well?
After my wedding in 2003, I waited for 8years before the blessing of my beautiful set of twins came in 2011, I was therefore very careful as to the school they will go to. Because of my background in the development and educational space I had my indices for choosing a school ranging from spiritual to physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. My search made me drop schools that didn’t fit in within the area I wanted so I kept my children with me and after three months of teaching them with the help of a child evangelist and educator, it occurred to me that there will be some people with my preference hence the prompting to start His Masterpiece Schools, a Christian school for nursery and primary with a vision to establish a secondary and vocational institution in the future whilst ensuring that we raise total and well rounded children.
What can the Nigerian Government do to empower female entrepreneurs in this post Covid 19 era?
Ensure intervention of Grants to support salary, equipments, working capital and expansions. In addition to tax waivers.
As a trained Life Coach, what lessons did you learn during the pandemic and how did it change your perspective about business?
That God is sovereign. That we should focus on what is important, that is rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. Life is not difficult, learn to pull back and restrategise to take advantage of opportunities.
Be well positioned. Be innovative. And never give up.
How can the Government support Associations like ANWBN?
Ensure that ANWBN is on the National MSME Council, State MSME Council such that decisions will be inclusive. Policy dialogues for implementation
What are some of the challenges you have faced so far in rising to this stage in your career and business and how did you manage to overcome them?
Sometimes I have a feeling of inadequacy but I have always allowed my positive nature to help rise above it. In life always be grateful because your reality is someone’s desire. Always be happy and take life in its strides. Never forget we are all a product of His grace.