Africa Business News: Entrepreneurs. Investments. Banking & Finance. Emerging Markets. Start-Ups
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
For a better African woman…
It was a gathering of some of the finest female entrepreneurs last Friday at the 2013 edition of Women of West Africa Entrepreneurship Conference (WOWe), which took place at the Eko Hotel and Suite, Victoria Island, Lagos.
WOWe was launched May 1, 2013, to meet the needs of Africa’s young educated women who are driven to start up in business but face significant challenges in competing with their male counterparts.
To further encourage entrepreneurship among strong African women, the organisation also had a workshop June 22, at Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos. This is in line with its objective to raise the excellence profile of Nigerian women between ages of 18- 40 in entrepreneurship, as well as to promote young upcoming female entrepreneurs.
The WOWe conference brought together women from all walks of life, from female entrepreneurs to aspiring business women. There was networking among banks, financial services, organisations, development finance and impact fund investment institutions, government agencies with responsibility for the empowerment of women.
Folasade Femi-Lawal, team lead, public sector and telecoms – MFS, First Bank Nigeria plc, discussed extensively the opportunities in mobile payment services for female entrepreneurs on the continent.
According to her, mobile money has changed the way business is done, not only in Nigeria but Africa. Hence, First Bank with its Firstmonie Payment service offers a unique business opportunity for entrepreneurs in Africa.
“Firstmonie is specifically designed for the unbanked and underbanked, especially the rural poor. It is designed to address the cost of transactions, proximity to bank branches, difficulty in the use of existing bank products, rigourous account opening procedure, among others,” she said.
In addition, she explained that First Bank had different packages to help improve the finance of women development, “as they have seen that women have been proven credit worthy over time.”
To her, there are also various kinds of loans for specific specialisation for users and individuals to collect, run their business and be able to pay back. “There are various products designed for SMEs like: commercial mortgage, secured finance, invoice discounting finance, Firstedu Loan. Deposit products such as First Current Business, First Saving Plus, Firstdom Plus, First Current Plus (zero COT).
“There are also much benefits that can be gotten using your card, different cards for different purposes. The card can be used for payment both on the local and international areas, despite the currency it would be converted and deducted from your naira account,” she stated.