The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is partnering with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to launch the SheTrade Commonwealth Project (SCP), Nigerian chapter, towards increasing the capacity of over 3,000 women entrepreneurs.
The SCP aims to drive increased trade, productivity and competitiveness for women entrepreneurs and women owned companies to ensure they play an important role in international trade.
It is part of the ITC global SheTrade initiative where through intensive training and mentoring activities, the goal is to strengthen the capacities of over 3,000 women-owned businesses with a view to generating sales worth £28 million by 2020.
Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo at the SCP implementation workshop in Lagos said the initiative was on integrating women into the economic fabric of Nigeria through connecting them to global trade.
Awolowo said the partnership intends to correct the gender disparity that prevails when it comes to accessing resources for business start-ups and expansion as women entrepreneurs face challenges in getting credit and loans while their businesses have fewer employees and shorter business longevity.
“Over the years, there has been international discourse on the need to mainstream women in economic activities to curtail dysfunction that could degrade family incomes and wellbeing. It has also been argued that women contributions to the national economic building are hardly noticed since they are prevalent in the less productive sectors and are largely invisible in the global supply chain,” he said.