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Experts task women entrepreneurs on digital transformation

Women in digital space

The Digital Transformation Centre Nigeria (DTC) has advised women entrepreneurs to be fearless, courageous and embrace digital transformation to boost their businesses.

Head of Project, DTC Nigeria, Dr Thuweba Diwani, gave the advice at a seminar on Wednesday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the seminar was: “Driving the Digital Transformation of Female Entrepreneurship in Nigeria.”

The seminar organised by the DTC Nigeria was co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union, and implemented by the German Agency for International Corporation (GIZ).

Diwani noted that digital transformation essentially aims to improve Nigeria’s digital innovation ecosystem and growth, therefore and urged women entrepreneurs to be fearless, step out of their comfort zones and embrace digitalisation for enhanced growth.

“So, the focus is essentially to seek to improve the digital innovation ecosystem in Nigeria and the capacity of the Nigerian economy to utilise digital innovations for growth.

“We work in varying capacities and create an enabling environment in improving the development of digital solutions and innovations and having these adopted by Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).

“We should ensure that women are able to acquire digital tools in their entrepreneurship activities and one of the greatest challenges for women is the fear of getting out there and exploring new things.

“And we tend to stay in our comfort zones; what I will advise is to be fearless and let us embrace what is new,” she said.

Diwani added that the benefits of digitisation should be looked at very analytically, critically and then deliberately go ahead to acquire the skills needed to be able to get ahead.

She also stressed the importance of mentorships, positive attitude, curiosity and confidence by women entrepreneurs to reach the next level of their careers.

The good thing about technology is that you can participate from wherever you are and whatever you are currently engaged in.

Participation in digital space

Acting Director, Digital Literacy and Capacity Development Department, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Amina Sambo-Magaji, said women are essential in the digital space.

Sambo-Magaji, represented by Head, Digital Literacy/Skills Division of the agency, Dr Aminu Tanbuwal, said: “Having women in the digital space is very important. At the moment, we are seeing a lot of progress, especially in Nigeria.

“We are about 25 per cent or so of women in technology. So, this number needs to go higher. You know, it is said that a lot of women that are at home can also engage in the technology sector through the digital economy.

“The good thing about technology is that you can participate from wherever you are and whatever you are currently engaged in,” she added.

She disclosed that the Agency is working on policies to close the gap between women and men in terms of participation in the technology space.

“So, we are working on a strategy and we are also working on other things. For example, increasing the number of programmes targeted at women, in terms of capacity building programmes.

“Having access to the digital tools, when we combine all of these things, it will really help to increase participation for women,” she noted.

Giving an overview of the seminar discourse, Technical Advisor, Digital/Entrepreneurship Skills Women and Youth, GIZ/DTC, Mrs Gbeke Oshinowo, said the objective of the seminar was to demystify the fears of female entrepreneurs in digital transformation.

Oshinowo said exposing the opportunities and challenges of digital transformation in Nigeria is a critical tool to drive the success of female-owned businesses.

Assistant Chief Enterprise officer, South-West, SMEDAN, Mrs Tosin Abajo, argued that bridging the gap in female entrepreneurship through digital transformation is critical to the growth of women in the technology sector.

Co-Founder, LoftyInc Allied Partners Ltd. Wennovation Hub, Dr Wole Odetayo, said the percentage of women in technology currently stood at 25 per cent.

Odetayo said the figure is not small when compared with 40 per cent women entrepreneurs in the country.

He highlighted the benefits of digital transformation as accelerated growth; multidimensional inclusion; job creation; increased collaborations; fosters innovation among others.

The seminar brought together seasoned actors from the digital ecosystem such as women support organisations, female entrepreneurs and stakeholders, among others to identify gender barriers to digital transformation of female-owned businesses and ways to overcome them. (NAN)

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