By Ogar Monday
Women have been encouraged to rise up and begin to help themselves grow in any sector they find themselves.
This admonition was given by various speakers at the Women In Enterprise Conference 2016 held at the conference hall of the South-South Entrepreneurship Development Center, Calabar.
While giving his welcome address, the Manager, South-South Entrepreneurship Development Center Mr. Emeka Nnamani said the role of women in the modern world can never be underestimated.
His words, “This conference is organized to recognize the role of women in the society. We believe that women should not be relegated to the background, because from experience I have seen that women usually do better in businesses than male, they are better managers and repay their loans faster.”
Adding that: “Our hope is to raise the bar so that by this time next year we will have women in their numbers who have started their own enterprise by just attending this conference.”
Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Stella Odey represented by Mrs. Funmi Njah said that the State is ready and willing to do all it can to promote female enterprise whenever it is asked to do so.
The Commissioner further stated that women are increasingly becoming breadwinners in most families and the young ones should drop the narrative of the past and begin to take proactive decisions for their lives.
Delivering the key note address, Mrs. Geraldine Oku a consultant with the United Kingdom (UK) funded DFID program, said the number one challenge to female entrepreneurs is not the environment but the self.
Her words, “The toughest barrier to any female entrepreneur is herself. You talk yourselves out of any business before you even venturing into it. You tell yourself you can’t do it, and you don’t.”
Mrs. Oku further added that female entrepreneurs should be ready to see opportunities for marketing around them and take those opportunities as they come.
The conference which was organised by SSEDC in conjunction with CUSO featured music performances, motivational talk and panel discussions themed “The Enterprising Woman: Raising the Bar” and was held as part of activities to mark the 2016 International Women’s Day.
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