The SheTrades in the Commonwealth project aims to increase economic growth and job creation in Commonwealth countries by enabling the increased participation of women- owned businesses in international trade. The project is funded by the UK Department for International Development and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) under the framework of the She Trades Initiative.
As part of the project, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC) intends to create a Business Support Organization (BSO) Directory in Nigeria. The Directory will be a one-stop catalogue to access key profiles and relevant BSO contact information as well as the services they provide.
The Main objective of creating a BSO directory for Nigeria is to support the BSOs to provide better services for women entrepreneurs, and to create awareness of the existence of key Business Support Organizations and eliminate the difficulties in establishing relevant contacts in obtaining information.
In January 2019 ITC surveyed 956 women-owned businesses across the four project countries (Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria) to gather information on their current level of engagement with BSOs in each country.
Over 60% of the respondents to the survey reported that they are not members of, and/or do no access services from such organizations. Lack of awareness and visibility was one of the main reasons identified for this, as over 70% of these respondents either (a) did not know such organizations; (b) did not know these organizations provide business support services; or (c) did not know how to approach these organizations.
In an effort to close this awareness and visibility gap, under the SheTrades in the Commonwealth project ITC seeks to create a Directory of Business Support Services for Women Entrepreneurs in each project country. The Directory will hold the details of all non-profit organizations operating in key sectors to support businesses in Nigeria.
We therefore call on all organizations and institutions that provide support to businesses in general and / or women-owned businesses especially to be part of the Nigeria BSO Directory.