Perhaps, when the meaning of policy is examined, it will lead us to a journey of unglamorous discovery as regards the Nigerian economy. Policy has been defined to be a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. The phrase that serves as my object of interest is achieve rational outcomes. Well, to state that the Nigerian economy has been progressing over years is questionable as the challenges facing Nigeria’s economy have been identified to be ineffective leadership and corruption, inflation, over-reliance on oil, unemployment, government policy, monetary policies, insecurity, inadequate infrastructures. We are not short of economic policies in Nigeria, but we may lack policies that are capable of achieving rational outcomes- in terms of economic growth and development.
The latest economic review of Nigeria’s economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says closing the gender gap would mean higher growth and productivity, and greater economic stability. According to UNCTAD, Rwanda is a leading example of the successful integration of gender considerations in the country’s legislation and development. Although, there are lots of women empowerment programmes/association in Nigeria, we cannot boast of effective policies that take into consideration gender considerations.
Recognizing what women empowerment essentially entails drove me into actualizing one of my dreams to make impact on humanity, creating The Amazing Woman (TAW) social enterprise. TAW is built on the foundation of helping the Nigerian woman achieve her market goals. There are stay at home mothers out there who are willing and capable of engaging their hands in ventures but are not well equipped with the right tools and knowledge to explore. This is what TAW seeks to deal with in its capacity.
With this, for many people, economic policy brings to mind big business and money terms, taxes, trade and interest rates – the subjects that dominate our financial news and even more. Probably, we are missing the basics and building policies on weak foundations. At such, the clamour for gender inclusive policies should start ringing all over our society.
The Amazing Woman (TAW) I run is founded on the principles of equipping women especially stay at home mothers with digital and social tools to drive their business sales online while still dedicating time for their families. The truth is not farfetched that most women in Nigeria operate informal and micro-enterprises. There are even start-ups who are looking for means to expand their businesses. Through TAW’s “Build Like A Woman” trainings, our women participants have had wonderful insights into the world of personal branding and digital skills acquisition.
According to a new World Bank assessment, Nigeria is capturing only a fraction of its digital economic potential and will need to make strategic investments to develop a dynamic, transformative digital economy. The Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic says that with improvements in digital connectivity, digital skills, digital financial services and other core areas of digital development, Nigeria can fully unleash new economic opportunities, create jobs and transform people’s lives. The Amazing Woman network recognizes the power and input of digital marketing in the growth of a business. As the lead trainer of TAW enterprise, the goal is to reach out to women who are looking for ways to sharpen their personal brand goals through exposure to the knowledge and skills needed in digital marketing.
For start-up entrepreneurs, the idea that only multinational and large companies are in dire need of intensive digital technology to boost their ventures should not be welcomed. The world we are now needs smart and hardworking people to thrive entrepreneurially. As such, recognizing that there is no limit in the way a business can grow is a good way to start. With digital marketing, whether multinational or small and medium enterprise, one can achieve the business growth desired in terms of marketing and profit making. While the state of our economy may not be favourable, the key thing is to adapt and understand mechanisms of overriding problems that may affect one’s business. Afterall, who ever aspires that his/her business falls?
We need economic enhancement policies that incorporate the exposure of women to global and international markets in boosting their businesses. This translates that even though women can start from informal or micro enterprises, policy frameworks should pave way for access to the global setting so as to expand their entrepreneurial ventures.
In addition, it is high time we had effective digital economic policies that takes into consideration all forms of business enterprise. The world is going global technologically. Nigeria business terrain cannot afford to lag behind, especially when people still hold unto outdated business strategies and modes.
Above all, we need policies that embrace inclusive economy and reforms that addresses societal gaps. The characteristics of an inclusive economy have been identified to be participation, equity, growth, stability and sustainability. Thus, policies/policy reforms that ensure every individual’s participation (whether male or female, poor or rich, stay at home or working mothers, micro or macro enterprises, small or large entrepreneurial ventures) should be embraced. This leads to equity birthing economic growth.
For the economic growth we all desire, we can’t afford the absence of sound economic policies.
As a Social Entrepreneur, Buchi Nduka is the founder of The Amazing Woman; a social enterprise founded for the purpose of ensuring the empowerment and personal development of women and mothers. She believes that women are a powerful part of society, and all must be done to ensure they take their place and play their role in society. Through this initiative, she has launched a number of projects including training women on how to use social media to digitize their skills and make money, and more recently, the #WomenAgainstCovid19 outreach, which aimed at providing relief to low-income women during this pandemic and also encouraging women around the world to stand tall during trying times.