A children’s clothing and accessories brand, Ruff n Tumble has called for increased funding for female-owned businesses in Nigeria.
The firm made the call in a special organised to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day.
Speaking, the keynote speaker at the event, Group Head/Coordinator of W Initiative at Access Bank, Ayona Aguele-Trimnell, described this year’s IWD theme as fitting in the light of recent realities.
According to her, access to funding for female-owning businesses remains abysmally poor, despite the contribution of women to the economy and society at large.
“It is not easy to be a woman today. This is the best theme for the IWD, which is equity.
“We have always talked about equality. But this year there is something special about it.
“How do we help women given the challenges that they have?
“So, it is not enough to say women deserve equal opportunity.
“How do we support them to get to that place where they become leaders?
“We are a little bit far behind the Western World. As much as we have got great female entrepreneurs.
“In Nigeria, 50 per cent of SMEs are owned by women. That is a larger number than anywhere in Africa.
“But women are still far behind when you talk about support and access to finance and empathy from the financial industry.”
She noted that only a small per cent of women had access to funding to start any kind of business.
"It is not easy. Even if you look at government, we have the lowest representation in government and the lowest percentage of leadership in corporate organisations.
“We are far behind. There are a lot of gaps. If we are 50 per cent of the population, we should be contributing 50 per cent of the revenue and output.
“So, we still have a long way to go,” Aguele-Trimnell asserted.
On her part, the Chief Executive Officer of Ruff n Tumble, Adenike Ogunlese, said the firm considered it pertinent to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day in order to appreciate women for the many roles they play in society.
According to her, the weight of responsibility placed on the woman calls for adopting measures that would help women take care of themselves.
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