UN explains why women-led businesses fail


The over 40 developed and developing countries with gender inequalities pay a huge price with more poverty and deprivation.

United Nations Country representative, UN Women Nigeria, Mrs Beatrice Eyoung, said when gender equality is mainstreamed, it becomes  a catalyst for economy to flourish.

Eyong stated that from studies women lead 90 per cent of households with dependents over 40 million and the number is twice in most countries such as Cameroon and four times in Togo. She maintained that most rebellions are as a result of most people thinking they were put away and not given their due in a particular country.

She spoke at the annual Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Women Group symposium in Lagos with a theme: One for all, all for one. Quoting World Bank data in 2020, she said men have 74 per cent inclusion in the labour force while women have barely 43 per cent.

She said: “Women have a high rate of heavy labour especially the rural women who spend hours fetching water, firewood and going to the farm which affects their participation in employment. I think that government should provide labour saving devices and digital solutions to assist women to participate outside the homes by being gainfully employed to earn income. I make bold to say that as women we have no plan of leaving any one behind, our women in the informal sector have need for insurance”, she added.

Eyoung lamented that women entrepreneurs are seen as risk adverse. Banks see women as high risk adverse, as women we must challenge limiting strategies put on the way to stop women from harnessing their potential. She challenged every employer of labour and economic employer to reduce gender based violence by ensuring the safety of women in their employ.

On the gaps affecting women businesses, she said it is derived especially from the perception of women. Former chairman, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) and the Guest Speaker at the event, Mrs Ibikun Awosika asked women to support each other.

She said: “There is little we can do for ourselves without cooperation and pulling our strength together as women to make a mark in our world. The millennials, JENZ and the ‘Old School’, must have synergy and tap from every group idea not considering the age.One of the most intentional way is to realise that you must set yourself a cohort of accountability. Women also need to create pocket of systems that will ensure success because silos power ids disconnected and useless.

Managing Director, Northwest Petroleum & Gas Company Ltd, Mrs Dame Winifred Akpani, for any business to succeed there must be integrity. According to her women are more serious, credible and all women of achievement got there by their intellect and hard work. “Women are resilient and patient unlike men. I advise women to seek to run a company with women and men with brain and most especially good attitude.

Earlier, LCCI President, Dr Michael Olawale-Cole commended the initiative behind the platform as fueled by a shared commitment to placing issues affecting women at the forefront of national discourse, not only as a matter of human rights but also because doing so is critical to achieving the country’s development objectives.

He said: “This theme is relevant in addressing issues facing women in our country. It also provides an opportunity to bring together many of our nation’s influential women to discuss national issues affecting their gender, the theme “one for all, all for one”.

“Women more than men work in vulnerable, low-paid, or undervalued jobs, women remain over represented as contributing family workers and informal work. Globally, women continue to be paid less than men. The gender wage gap is estimated to be 23 per cent. In Nigeria, the gap is more at 34.8 per cent according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

“Gender inequalities in employment and earnings mean that women have lower incomes, leading to income insecurity over the lifecycle. Also, in many societies including Nigeria, men continue to claim ownership of and control over productive resources and assets such as property, inheritance and land as well as financial resources. Thus, women frequently do not have the collateral necessary to seek loans from the formal financial sector business”, he added.