As part of its deliberate steps to address issues around gender equality in entrepreneurship, the Bank of Industry said it disbursed N26 billion ($71 million) loans to female entrepreneurs in 18 months, Punch Newspaper has reported.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director, BoI, Mr Olukayode Pitan, in a presentation made during a programme organised in Lagos by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
The theme of the event was given as “Entrepreneurship for inclusive growth: opportunities and sustainability strategies,”
Pitan said, “The truth is the Nigerian female entrepreneur is more exposed to and adversely affected by the inherent challenges in the Nigerian business environment; making it more difficult for her to succeed compared to her male peer. Hence, BoI is playing its small part to help balance the scale.
“For example, in 2015, BoI established a gender business desk to cater specifically for female entrepreneurs. In the last 18 months alone, the bank has disbursed loans in excess of N26 billion to over 400 women-led enterprises with the potential to grow and create jobs that will contribute to economic development.
“In addition to financial support, the gender desk also provides the much-needed business advisory and capacity building services, leveraging our strategic partnerships with over 300 Business Development Service Providers nationwide.”