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page 25 Women in Biz

page 25 Women in Biz Women in Biz Page 25 Social media, a tools for women biz opportunity Olayemi John-Mensah & Latifah Opoola Online business…

page 25 Women in Biz

Women in Biz Page 25

Social media, a tools for women biz opportunity

Olayemi John-Mensah & Latifah Opoola

Online business is fast becoming a well-accepted culture in Nigeria. Recently, more businessmen and women in the country are using Nigeria’s online space to market their goods and services. The online businesses have continued to grow as most people especially the elite and urban dweller now prefer shopping online.

Different item; food, wears, household materials, electronics, books, furniture, equipment, just to both new and fairly used are displayed for people to purchase. Online shopping, according to industry watchers, remains one area of business with enormous potential to meet the needs and aspirations of Nigerians and further boost entrepreneurship.

Though the Business Matters Magazine says successfully running an online business is far from easy stating that about 90 percent of online businesses fail but women have seen it as a soft landing place to grow their businesses thereby making use of the opportunity.

The potential market in online business makes the industry viable on with lots of Nigerian women looking to the Internet for their own slice of the cake.

Although many of them now take advantage advertising their products or services online few have succeeded as they grabbed the opportunity early enough. They have made great achievement and are no longer at the background waiting for their daily allowances to be dropped in their laps. Many, in fact, own successful profitable businesses worth millions and what’s more, most do it from the comfort of their homes.

The likes of Linda Ikeji and Uche Pedro (Bella Naija) both bloggers have caught their niche, doing great, and reaping large figures as income through internet business.

Many were said to go into online business due to lack of capital to rent a place for their business since it does not require a business location. The easiest part is said to know and understand ones interest, discover passion and run with it.

Bamidele Taofiq an M.Sc. graduate of International Entrepreneurship from Nottingham University said the likes of Linda Ikeji and other prominent Nigerian entrepreneurs that are making a fortune online is because they have ensured they focused on a reliable online business model that works for them.

He said most the most effective ways to make money online is by starting a service business based on a skill one has which may include agricultural services, writing services or photography adding that these skills are always ones that benefits the customers.

Shamsiyya Shehu who said there is always a potential market for businesses who advertise their products online or even the online business added that she started her make-up business with an online post stating that she does it for a living.

“The week I posted on twitter, I got three orders for my service, which was a good start but my mistake was that I didn’t negotiate the price before so after the service one of the client only paid for the service without paying for the transport fare” she said.

Mary Daniel’s who packages and sells cooked food and soups in Zuba says while doing business on the Internet always opens up markets all over the world, it sometimes disrupts ongoing business relationships as a result of logistics.

Mary who is undergoing her Postgraduate Diploma in Education said because she posts her products on instagram, she gets orders in faraway Kaduna and Lagos which she cannot meet up because they are located far away from where she is situated.

“So you see I take orders in Abuja here, but majority of my orders are not from around Abuja here, and I am wondering if I can meet up the demands how much I would be making” she said.

Mercy John sells and hair extensions cosmetics and tell our reporters the age of technology has made businesses much more easier stating that when the customers are not comfortable with only speaking and placing orders on phone, she asks that they video calls which allows them see the samples live on camera and that usually gives them the confidence of knowing they are getting a genuine products.

Philomena Archibong a graduate of Mass Communication who is into catering service focusing majorly on Nigerian soup making. She makes use of the social media in marketing her business but said planning to have a website where people can visit and place their orders too.

Hajia Sekina Yusuf also grabbed the opportunity of the social media in marketing her goods to her teaming customer whom she said place order as soon as they see her goods displayed on her Facebook wall and her instagram.

Boosting widows businesses through revolving loans

By Ojoma Akor

Women’s entrepreneurship is crucial to economic growth around the world. From petty trading, small scale businesses to multinational conglomerates, it offers them financial independence and economic empowerment to contribute their quota to the development of the country.

For widows, it is a panacea for poverty which many of them often face. It provides them a means to cater for the needs of their families and help lessen their burden of solitude.

Empowering widows with a revolving loan is an initiative planned by an international non-governmental organization, Women Advancement for Economic and Leadership Empowerment in Africa, WAELE/ARCELFA this year to help widows start businesses or boost the ones they are already into.

The organization has earmarked 1, 200 widows for the scheme. 100 widows each in Benue, Lagos, Adamawa, Kebbi and Enugu are expected to benefit from the scheme. 100 widows will benefit in South Sudan and another 100 from Saharawi Republic.

The empowerment will commence from Benue State on March 8, the International Women’s Day. The Benue State government has decided to partner with WAELE /ARCELFA on the programme and will empower 100 widows in addition to the 100 WAELE/ARCELFA will be empowering with the revolving loans.

Founder/president of the organization, Dr Otunba Basirat Nahibi-Niasse said the NGO has earmarked the sum of two million naira as revolving loan for each of the selected states and also appointed coordinators for the target states who will select the widows.

She told the coordinators at an executive meeting of the organization in Abuja that 20,000 naira will be given to each widow and they will pay back at an agreed time.

Each widow will thereafter run the business of her choice.

Nahibi – Niasse who is also the West Africa Coordinator of AU/ECOSOCC Women & Gender, and also a member of African Union (AU) Steering Committee for The Fund for African Women said she came up with the initiative because she knows how widows suffer trying to get capital to start businesses or keep it running.

She said the organization intends to visit internally displaced widows in Adamawa State in addition to those displaced in South Sudan, Saharawi and other countries.

Nahibi-Niasse has been involved in the empowerment of women since her days as President -General of the Better Life for African Women project initiated by late First Lady, Maryam Babangida before establishing WAELE/ARCELFA 12 years ago.

North West coordinator of the revolving loan project, Hajiya Hadiza Hassan, appreciated her efforts in empowering women across Africa and urged other well meaning Nigerians to emulate her and cater for widows and the less privilege.

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