Being a woman in Nigeria is not the easiest thing. And being a woman who is an entrepreneur on top just makes it worse.
There are quite a number of female entrepreneurs in Nigeria and that number keeps increasing everyday. There are certain limitations that come with being an entrepreneur in Nigeria whether male or female but there are certain problems and hindrances that affect women especially.
I would just like to highlight a few of those problems so that we can find ways to improve the experiences of female entrepreneurs together.
Here are some of the general and most common problems that female entrepreneurs face in Nigeria.
- Limited Access to Funding
It’s harder for women to get access to funding from venture capitalists compared to their male counterparts here in Nigeria. Loan/funding companies would rather give it to men because they feel they are more capable of giving them returns on their investments. And there is also the general perception that women are less capable than men.
- Lack of support because of culture
In Nigeria, men are seen as the breadwinners of the family and women who tend to navigate into the entrepreneurial space, especially a very lucrative field, can be seen as disrespectful because there is a preconceived notion that they want to dominate and rule over their spouses. This then causes a lot of females to quit their dreams because they want peace to reign.
- Lack of role models
Because of the number of female entrepreneurs currently visible in Nigeria, new comers or women interested in starting might be discouraged because they cant see people like them doing what it is they want to do as well and hence they give up before they even start.
- Lack of Mentorship
A lot of women don’t know how to navigate the entrepreneurial space because they don’t have anyone guiding them and giving them useful information when they reach roadblocks so when they encounter problems, they don’t know how to solve them and they have no one to ask for help
- Limited Access to Training and equipment
In order to succeed in a field, you need to have the necessary knowledge required to run that business. It also requires the necessary tools required to carry out tasks relating to the business. This is something that most female entrepreneurs lack access to; both equipment and training.
- Lack of connections and community
It is easier to level up and succeed when you have people in your corner helping you. This is one thing that female entrepreneurs lack in Nigeria because there aren’t enough people in high places that can assist them when the need arises. Also a lack of community to motivate and encourage them also hinders their progress.
- Security and insurance
Being a woman already makes you vulnerable to attacks and robbery. It is hard enough being almost helpless and defenceless in the face of danger, but to add to the problem, it is hard to afford insurance to protect against such attacks and robbery. In the case that they might get insurance, the interest rates might most likely be exorbitant.
These are just some of the general problems that affect women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. As we see an increase in the number of women who join entrepreneurship, we should strive to support and help in anyway that we can. Business is not easy, especially when it seems like nothing around you wants you to succeed. But with enough perseverance and motivation, strides can be made.