By NBF News

The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) through its women entrepreneur wing, NECA-NNEW, has called on the Federal Government to encourage women entrepreneurs in the country, so as to develop the economy. According to the Coordinator of the wing, Ms. Ijeoma Iheme, women entrepreneurs are becoming more creative, and the only way to sustain this is to encourage them in every possible way.

Iheme, who is also the coordinator of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at NECA, Lagos, said the SMEs are very strategic to the growth of the economy and, to move the economy forward, it should be given the needed boost. From available statistics, the SME sector provides an average of 50 per cent of Nigeria's employment and 50 per cent of its industrial output,' she said. She explained that since the women are becoming increasingly visible in this area, the government should support them.

The NECA SMEs Lagos coordinator stated this at the one-day capacity building in the area of organization systems, structures and values in SMEs, held recently in Lagos. She noted for long, women entrepreneurs have been marginalized on SMEs policy formulation. She stated that the only to tackle this is for the government to get more women involved in SMEs policy formulation.

Emphasising the importance of SMEs to the economy, she stated that one of the major ways to boost this sector is to ensure that a defined organizational system, structure and values becomes the core essence of any established business or Institution. She observed that for women entrepreneurs to attain their full potential in terms of economic and social development in the country, the place of SMEs cannot be ignored.

'To ensure that women entrepreneurs operating in Nigeria run viable and sustainable businesses in the country, and to enable them continue to contribute to the development of Nigeria economy, the women must encouraged in all areas of lives,' she added.