Women who want to start their own businesses have the potential to boost the Nigerian economy by N19.7 billion, according to research released by Facebook. The study, conducted by Development Economics on behalf of Facebook, also reveals that if the number of women who said they were ‘very likely’ to start a business did so (44%), this would create over 7 million new businesses within four years and over 8.9 million jobs within five years.
Compared to men, women are more likely to be interested in setting up businesses in Food & Drink (30%), Tourism & Leisure (13%), Lifestyle (10%) and Business Services (10%). The motivations for women wanting to set-up a business also varies, with financial gains amongst the highest (56%), followed by wanting to create job opportunities for family or other people (45%), those wanting to work around family commitments (40%) and those wanting to be their own boss (39%).
Lack of access to finance (36%) is the cited as the main barrier to women setting up independently. Facebook’s research also shows that among those likely to start a business, not sure of how to get started (32%), not feeling prepared or ready (30%) and lack of access to premises or equipment (26%), are the key reasons holding them back from taking this step. These impact women at every stage of their life – with women 55+ being less likely to start a business followed by those between 35-44.
“Facebook recognise how important women are in building stable economies, and the potential impact of this in Nigeria is encouraging to see” said Abi Williams, Facebook SMB Sales Manager EMEA. “We know that when women do better, economies do better, and with the right support, tools and trainings in place Nigerian women entrepreneurs can, and will be able to compete on a global level.”
The study also revealed:
The use of online tools
In terms of the use of online tools to facilitate the sale of products or services to potential customers, the proportion of female managers in Nigeria reporting the use of such tools was 83 percent compared to 74 percent for males.
A slightly higher proportion of female business managers reported the use of online tools to enable customers to pay for products or services (39 percent for females compared to 37 percent for males).
Timing of business starts
Overall, of those women who are very interested in setting up a business, over 4.1 million appear to want to set up their business within 1 year. A further 2.5 million anticipate establishing their business within 2 or 3 years, and 378,000 say they expect it would be more than 4 years in the future.
*Calculations were made by Development Economics using data from the Future of Business survey commissioned by Facebook in South Africa, and surveys undertaken by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in Nigeria.