Business

BoI Disburses $6.02m To Women-Owned Businesses, Commits To Financial Inclusion

BoI Disburses $6.02m To Women-Owned Businesses, Commits To Financial Inclusion

The Bank of Industry (BOI) said it has disbursed $6.02 million out of its $10 million investment commitment to Alitheia Fund in supporting gender equality and women financial inclusion.

Alitheia Fund is a pioneering $100 million gender-lens fund that invests in women-owned, women-led or women-servicing companies across varying sectors.

Managing director, BoI, Dr. Olasupo Olusi stated this, at the weekend, during the BoI International Women’s Day (IWD) 2024 event with the theme ‘Inspire Inclusion’.

Olusi, represented by executive director of the Micro Enterprise Directorate, BoI, Ms. Mabel Ndagi said, the 2024 IWD’s theme resonated with BoI’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace as well as the bank’s clientele portfolio.

He added that the year’s theme challenges everyone to move beyond the perceived norms and truly embody the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

On funding for women owned businesses, the BoI’s MD stated that the bank was also the local execution partner for the Islamic Development Bank’s Business Resilience Assistance for Value-Adding Services (BRAVE) programme in Nigeria.

According to him, this is a $14.27 million initiative that was designed to support women-owned businesses, particularly those living in economically disadvantaged areas arising from conflicts and social unrest.

“As of February 2024, the bank had disbursed the sum of N5.9 billion to 551 beneficiaries. We are currently working with African Development Bank (AfDB) on its AFAWA initiative, a Pan-African initiative to bridge the $42 billion financing gap women in Africa face,” he said.

Olusi said BoI had created special funding and business support for female entrepreneurs and made gender funding one of the Bank’s six thematic critical areas of focus and support.

This, he stated, was in line with President Bola Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to ensuring social inclusion, empowerment for women, and economic support for disadvantaged women and mothers.

He added that achieving full inclusion for women required proactive and collaborative effort of the federal government and sub-nationals, organised private sector, civil societies, and individuals.

Founder, Lagos Fashion Week, Mrs. Omoyemi Akerele, emphasized the need to adopt sustainability models in the textile industry to contribute greatly to women empowerment.

Akerele noted that creativity was community art and its role in the ecosystem contributed significantly to community development, stating that unsustainable patterns in textile production contributed to problems of sustainability by leaving a carbon footprint.

Founder, Reel Fruits, Ms. Affiong Williams, implored aspiring businesses and current entrepreneurs to take steps to be properly positioned for funding or investing.

Williams urged them to make sure they invest time in their ideas to sharpen them, making sure those ideas are investible.

Clinical psychologist, Psychaid Consult, Dr. Ashleigh Osemwegie, urged women to pay more attention to their mental, emotional and physical health wellbeing.

She noted that some mental health disorders were more common to women such as anxiety, depression, among others due to juggling mental and physical load, body image, self-esteem issues and many more.

TheFacts

Full Stack Developer, Backend And Frontend. And Also Bagged a HND in Computer Science at Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi.

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