Banks with eye on the future are taking steps to provide services that meet the business needs of women entrepreneurs. Access Bank Plc has organised ‘Power Breakfast With W’ where its Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe, met with leading women entrepreneurs for a feedback on the lender’s services. He promised to ensure that women-led businesses not only get credit, but also learn how to build sustainable businesses that can be passed to the next generation, reports COLLINS NWEZE.
That women control a large portion of global wealth is no longer news. From oil and gas, banking and fashion to agriculture and education, women have proven their mettle in the business world.
Women-led businesses constitute a large part of banks’ balance sheets and stream of income. Access Bank Plc last week met with many leading women entrepreneurs, seeking a feedback on its services and how the bank could serve them better.
The meeting titled: Power Breakfast Meeting with W, which was held at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos, was attended by women entrepreneurs.
Access Bank Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Herbert Wigwe said the lender would continue to support women-led businesses in funding, training, and provision of tailor-made banking services.
The bank chief also disclosed that lending to women presented little or no risks to his bank as they have over the years paid back their loans.
Wigwe said the lender has not recorded any bad loan from the several loans it granted to women-owned businesses, adding that the bank started the ‘W’ Initiative to empower women and women-owned businesses to succeed.
He said: “When women are involved, things get better. The ‘W’ Initiative is to empower and inspire women. We do not even have one per cent bad loans for supporting women. We are committed to ensuring that women succeed in their businesses”.
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Insider's 20 Women To Watch list for 2018 was unveiled this Monday and contains a remarkable range of activities.
But are women entrepreneurs receiving enough support when it comes to turning their business ideas into reality - and success?
The 20 women to watch in Scotland in 2018
We asked six business people at the top of their fields their views - Yes, No or Maybe - and if not what can be done to turn it around.
Here is what they said.
“The percentage of the women entrepreneurs who have completed the lifecycle of entrepreneurship (in India) is a small fraction,” opined Padmaja Ruparel, president of the Indian Angel Network (IAN). She added that Meena Ganesh was one of the rare entrepreneurs she could think of who’ve gone through the entire cycle.
Although women entrepreneurs are trickling into the startup ecosystem of India in slightly larger numbers, this in Padmaja’s view, is an important factor that needs to change.
“These women have to go through a complete lifecycle of entrepreneurship: starting a venture, raising money, exiting it, giving in to healthy returns,” she said. Until this changes, the ratio of investments in female- and male-led ventures won’t change, and this topic will continue to dominate any discussion on women entrepreneurs,” she said.
She is not wrong. A study by Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) has ranked India 52nd out of 57 countries judged on the basis of parity for women entrepreneurs. According to the Sixth Economic Census by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) only 14% businesses in India are run by women domiciled in the country. There are a total of 58.5 Mn businesses in India, but only 8.05 Mn are managed by women entrepreneurs.
Padmaja was speaking at the 2018 Annual Startup Conclave by Yes Bank on the topic of ‘Navigating the VC Landscape’ and the session was moderated by Vaibhav Agarwal, founder and CEO of Inc42.
The VC landscape is a tough terrain for women entrepreneurs to navigate, one that desperately needs smoothing, and women could do with all the help they can get in this regard.
The panel discussion attempted at gaining a better understanding of why there is there a dearth of women investors, how they can create scalable businesses, and also how they can bring consumer businesses under the lens of investors and try to leverage technology at the same time.
The panelists included Ritu Marya, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Media (India) and former editor-in-chief of Franchise India, Manu Shukla, a project officer in the IT department of the Government of Rajasthan, Dolly Bhasin, director of Incuspaze Coworking, and Nidhi Agarwal, EIR of YourNest Venture Capital.
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Frustrated female entrepreneurs struggling to get funding should set up a Kickstarter or Indiegogo page.
While female-led ventures have long struggled to get financial backing from banks and investors (who are predominantly male), a new Indiana University report finds that women actually have an easier time getting money on crowdfunding platforms than men do.
The university’s Kelley School of Business analyzed three years of Kickstarter data, examining the entrepreneurs’ gender, financial backing received and funding success in a sample of 416 projects. And the women were more likely than men to have their business ideas funded.
n fact, a children’s book about “rebel girls” from Timbuktu Labs, which was started by two women, became the fastest-funded publishing project in Kickstarter history last year, topping $100,000 in just three hours. And Elin Elkehag first successfully funded Stilla Motion, a small anti-theft device that you put in your purse, backpack or briefcase that sends an alert to your phone if the bag moves, through Indiegogo.
Next, the researchers investigated why female-led startups were more successful on the crowdfunding platform. The team created mock crowdfunding pitches and videos, which they showed to 73 amateur investors based in the eastern U.S. They also used psychological tests to determine each investor’s perception of how trustworthy they found each entrepreneur. The entrepreneurs who were seen as the most trustworthy received the most funding — and they were predominantly women.
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