The United States Department of Commerce has called for an increase in women’s participation as entrepreneurs in business, as such will drive economic growth in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Middle East and Africa, Camille Richardson, in a statement issued by the agency and seen by Nairametrics on Wednesday.
During a roundtable discussion with leading women business leaders and entrepreneurs, as part of her virtual visit to Nigeria, Richardson shared valuable perspectives on women entrepreneurship and potentials for business relations between women-led businesses in the United States and Nigeria.
She also discussed efforts to confront the common challenges women face in their business endeavours.
“As both of our economies are actively engaged in recovery from the global pandemic, increased participation of women in business and as entrepreneurs is needed to help drive economic growth,” Richardson said.
As an advocate for women empowerment and entrepreneurship, she stated that the U.S Department of Commerce’s priorities includes the Women Empowered Leave Legacies through Trade and Investment (WELLTI) initiative, which provides a platform to offer U.S government’s support for U.S. businesswomen and their counterparts engaged in trade and investment between the United States, Africa and the Middle East.
“Women continue to demonstrate that when provided with market information, access to finance and the right networks, there is no limit to what they can accomplish. This is the inspiration behind WELLTI. We are connecting women to information and networks to facilitate their ability to enter and/or expand into markets across Africa and the Middle East. Women entrepreneurs and business leaders are needed now more than ever!” she added.
Also at the roundtable were Ifeyinwa Afe, Managing Director for Central Africa at HP; Temitope Iluyemi, Senior Director of Global Government Relations & Public Policy (Africa) at Procter and Gamble. Others are Christina Struller, Vice President of Public Affairs at UPS; Vani Malik, General Manager at Kimberly Clark; and Margaret Olele, Chief Executive Officer of the American Business Council (ABC).
Margaret Olele described how the organization worked to inspire and empower women to attain leadership roles in management and business. She also highlighted ABC’s work with the Foreign Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce and its engagement with the Nigerian public and private sectors to promote mutually beneficial trade and investment.