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International Women’s Day is annually held recently, to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women throughout history and across nations. International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. The focus of this annual celebration includes discussions, activities and key strategies on how to strengthen and increase women’s participation in different sectors of the economy.




In commemoration of the International Women’s Day 2020, NASD PLC, an Over the Counter Securities Exchange that eases secondary market trading of all securities of unquoted public companies primarily in Nigeria but with a focus on the West African region hosted the International Women’s Day (IWD) forum in collaboration with Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) themed Equal Access To Capital which aligns with the theme for 2020 International Women’s Day Each for Equal, an equal world is an enabled world.




The event which held recently at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) VI, Lagos commenced with welcome remarks from Mr Bola Ajomale, MD/CEO NASD PLC followed by a opening address by keynote speaker, Mrs Ndidi Nwuneli, Founding Partner Sahel Consulting. Other Attendees at the event were Mrs Jameela Sharrief Ayedun, Mrs Mojisola Bakare, Mrs Tomie Balogun, and Mrs TIti Odunfa Adeoye – all Panelists while Ms Abiola Adekoya moderated the event.




Speaking at the event, Mrs Titi Odunfa Adeoye, Founder and Managing Director of Sankore Investments stated ‘These days, it seems like everyone is hoping to become an entrepreneur but before venturing into a business, the first thing to consider are your strengths and capabilities. Running a business is filled with challenges. Knowing your strengths and capabilities will help you identify those skills you need to develop your business. It is also very important to research and understand the market before putting together a plan. In addition, having the right people, processes and structure at the initial stage of your business is a must.‘




Mrs Tomie Balogun, Founder & CEO of Vestract Company stated‘ Always have a good grasp on the numbers that tell you how your business is doing and what you can expect. This includes your start-up costs, sales, projected profits, cash flow, and much more, depending on the nature of your business.’




Mrs Mojisola Bakare, General Manager Corporate Banking at Sterling Bank Plc stated ‘Female entrepreneurs need to articulate their business objective, mission and vision statements as a first step to access capital. At Sterling Bank, we have set aside billions in loans to fund a pool of businesses in need of financial assistance in other to impact lives and develop solutions. The maximum amount of loan a customer with collateral could get is N20 million while those without collateral could get up to N5 million and the processing time is 48 hours and with minimal documentation. We also support entrepreneurs with business advice, training and coaching.’




Mrs Jameelah Aiyedun, Managing Director/ CEO of Credit Bureau Plc, ‘Female entrepreneurs should have quicker access to loans. This is because women-owned businesses are less likely to accumulate debt or default on mortgages. Loan interest for women-owned businesses should also be significantly lower. These are all ways to empower female entrepreneurs and improve their access to capital. When a female is empowered, the society and ultimately the nation is also empowered.’




In closing the event, Mr Bola Ajomale MD/CEO NASD PLC stated ‘We thank our keynote speaker, panelists, invited guests and attendees who came out today to discuss challenges and probable solutions regarding equal access to finance by both genders. At NASD PLC, we are committed to providing service offerings that ease capital raise process for organizations owned by men and women alike. We celebrate our female entrepreneurs and wish everyone a happy international women’s day.’




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