The Managing Director, Accenture, Juliet Anammah, has emphasised the importance of women’s contribution to economic growth, just as she urges female entrepreneurs to be innovative with their business ideas.
While acknowledging women’s foray into business, she said innovation was one key factor that would keep them going.
“There are many businesses that are run by women. This is encouraging, but we need to do a lot more about innovation. Our businesses must have that cutting edge. This differentiates one business from the other,” she said.
Anammah gave this remark at a two-day Weconnect International Exhibition and Matchmaker conference in Lagos.
She said, “If you can think through an idea, design and bring it to the market on your own, the probability that it will stand out is low. You must allow people to disagree with you on your product, this is good for the business idea. The more people disagree on the idea, the more you think of ways to make your idea better. Listen to the views of others concerning your business, don’t turn a deaf ear. Get others on board to design and make your product better.”
In the same vein, a Partner at Ernst and Young, Bunmi Akinde, said a female entrepreneur must be ready to open up her business ideas to constructive criticism.
“Don’t see your business as your business, see it as a family business that will be passed on from one generation to the other. For that business to stand the test of time, it must have that ‘wow’ factor,” she said.
The Executive Director, ExxonMobil, Oluseyi Afolabi, stressed the need to empower more women to become entrepreneurs.
She said, “When we empower women, they reach their potential and this positively affects the nation. Not only that, our children get educated and we raise a productive, healthy society.”
Afolabi enjoined female entrepreneurs at the event to build on previous networks.
The Executive Director, WeConnect International in Nigeria, Comfort Sakoma, challenged women to think big and believe that they could do business with multinational companies.
She stressed that no female entrepreneur was too small to grow her business into a massive industry.
Other speakers at the event included the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Weconnect International, Elizabeth Vasquez; and the Exxon Mobil Foundation Programmes Cordinator, Constance Nwokejiobi.
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