By Ademola Adeleye
In a significant move to boostr women’s entrepreneurship and promote gender equality in business, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Investment Technology and Promotion Office (UNIDO ITPO) Nigeria has officially introduced the Gender Lens Investing Community of Practice (GLICOP). The launch took place during the inaugural Gender Lens Investing Training held last week in Lagos, marking a significant step forward in addressing the challenges faced by underfunded women-owned businesses.
GLICOP aims to bridge the funding gap that often impedes the growth of women entrepreneurs by providing them with greater access to resources, funding opportunities, networks, and capacity-building support. By creating an environment that levels the playing field for both aspiring and established women entrepreneurs, GLICOP strives to foster an ecosystem where women can thrive in the business landscape.
Distinguished experts and thought leaders, including Etemore Glover, CEO of Impact Investors Foundation; Dr. Funmi Adewara, Founder & CEO of Mobihealth; Nonye Umahi, Managing Consultant at CUANU Consult Ltd; and Dr. Ola Brown, General Partner of HealthCap Africa, have lent their insights and expertise to shape GLICOP’s mission of promoting funding equality and economic growth.
The launch event emphasized actionable goals, including the establishment of information hubs, networking advantages, and support for female fund managers. Discussions also highlighted the importance of regulatory frameworks, policy advocacy, and removing biases to create an environment conducive to the growth of women-led businesses.
A central focus of the launch was the call for strategic policies that allocate funds for women-owned businesses, paired with rigorous monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. This approach seeks to dismantle barriers and biases that have historically hindered women entrepreneurs’ progress, recognizing the immense potential of investing in women as a driver of sustainable economic growth.
GLICOP’s launch reinforces the collaborative essence of transformative change, with involvement from stakeholders including government bodies, NGOs, development finance institutions (DFIs), and venture capitalists (VCs). This collaborative effort aims to shape an inclusive ecosystem that offers essential resources, opportunities, and support for women-owned businesses.
As GLICOP sets the stage for a more equitable and prosperous future, the world anticipates witnessing the flourishing of women’s entrepreneurship and a heightened commitment to gender equality in the business world.