By Ann Acka’a,

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in partnership with Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA)  Business Women Group (NAWORG) and Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN)  organized a two day capacity building workshop held on October 18 to 19, 2018 at the NACCIMA House, Lagos. The workshop was focused on how women entrepreneurs can acquire the requisite skills that will improve their businesses while exposing them to new ideas and how they can improve access to finance amidst economic difficulties.

Key delegates from various women business groups across Nigeria attended the meeting. They the  NACIMA National President, Iyalode Alaba Lawson; National  Coordinator, Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN), Chief Mrs. Anita Okuribido (a.k.a. Mama Renewable Energy) and CIPE Regional Coordinator, Mrs. Wunmi Gbadamosi among  others. The NACCIMA Director General, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanmi was also in attendance. Ms Carmen Stanila and Ms Morgan Frost were  the international team of facilitators for the workshop.

President Iyalode Alaba Lawson  expressed her gratitude to CIPE for the implementation of phase two project of the “Empowered women”. She added that  NAWORG is thankful  for the alliance with CIPE as it has made positive impact on  the group and individual members, thereby fostering growth  at all levels despite the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs

In similar vein, Chief Chief(Mrs) Anita Nana Okuribido, the National Coordinator of ANWBN, in her opening remarks thanked CIPE for its unalloyed support. She further stated that the Association is a union of 18 Women Business and Professional Member Organizations in Nigeria, with a common vision of  encouraging and improving sustainable entrepreneurial development through research, advocacy and policy reform initiatives. ANWBN was established in 2013 and with the help of CIPE  as one its partners continues to serve as a unifying voice to address effectively, issues affecting business and professional women  across the 36 States of Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, she noted. Hence, ANWBN’ slogan – “Work Together, Walk Far!”

In agreement, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanmi, remarked that four international conferences were held to discuss issues and answer questions that bore a brunt on women empowerment and their rights to fair treatment as humans of the world.

Ambassador Olukanmi, added that the workshop was put together  to execute what obtains at the international level to the grassroots since there are challenges on women’s empowerment and rights, particularly in the area of accessing loans to startup their business.

Participants left the workshop armed with practical knowledge on advocacy bothering on improving access to finance for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria and how they can tap into available opportunities for women.

CIPE) is one of the four core institutes of the  National Endowment for Democracy and an affiliate of the U.S Chamber of Commerce .Since 1983 CIPE has been working from the ground up with partners to find locally driven solutions to problems that affect the lives of millions of people. CIPE believe that democracy is at its strongest when the private sector is flourishing. CIPE is helping create the enabling environment for business to thrive.

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) established in 1960, is the umbrella organization for all the various affiliate member chambers within the country. The Association’s membership is voluntary and it encompasses City, State and Bilateral Chambers, Business/Professional Association and Corporate Bodies. It champions the course of business through its advocacy role and influence public policies that promote free enterprise. The perspective of NACCIMA is in accordance with contemporary ideas of the chambers of Commerce Movement in a relatively free enterprise economy the world over.

The brief of NACCIMA- branch of the Women Group- Nigerian Association of Women Group (NAWORG) was established in December 2005 as one of the trade groups of the Association. This group has the mandate to coordinate the activities of women within the Chamber movement and the membership is open to all women across the West African Region. The association facilitates women in the participation of commerce and governance, to identify business that are profitable and then market the opportunities to members and across the ECOWAS region and to the world in general.