By Ndem Nkem
Entrepreneurship once considered a man’s domain in Nigeria, has since made way for women as economic opportunities have risen over the years for women who want to start and run enterprises.
Unfortunately, while more women are becoming entrepreneurs, they seem not to be catching up with their male counterparts.
Women-owned businesses still face a set of challenges that continue to limit their growth. To shed light on some of these obstacles, Jumia Travel lists 5 reasons women-owned businesses are not thriving in Nigeria
Limited access to funding
This is the biggest challenge faced by women-owned businesses across Nigeria as access to capital is crucial to any small business’ growth trajectory. Women face greater obstacles than men when starting and growing a business, especially when it comes to venture capitalists, financial institutions, and other lenders; who are quick to deny their applications. Basically, even when the woman-owned business demonstrates a great business plan, have excellent credit and demonstrate solid cash flow, it must also successfully navigate through a process that tends to unfairly favour male-run start-ups. And when they eventually access required capital, the interest rates are rather steep and this tends to handicap the business over the long run. For women-owned businesses to thrive, it is vital for the Nigerian society as a whole to ensure that women have equal chances to do great things.
Critical Cultural Values
The times have changed, however another entrepreneurial challenge women entrepreneurs still face in Nigeria is that of cultural value or tradition. The cultural values across Nigeria are such that the man/husband is the head of the household and as such automatically expected to be the breadwinner. The male children are expected to toe in the line of their fathers and inherit the family business maybe, while the female children are usually left out of this entrepreneurial grooming process. A situation where there is a deviation and the women start to exhibit entrepreneurial prowess, it is assumed that she is being domineering and maybe even disrespectful to her husband, who should be the one in charge. This is very discouraging and has been a huge reason why many women-owned businesses have drowned even before they got the chance to swim.
Lack of Role models and limited mentorship programmes
Quality mentorship plays a huge role in the success of any woman entrepreneur and her business. It is particularly helpful for women to be enrolled in mentorship programmes or have mentors who have faced the same challenges they have. Nigerian women entrepreneurs, especially startups, however, do not have this support network and end up drowning in the face of even the most trivial obstacles. In fact, a number of female founders report that lack of available advisers and mentors has been a huge limitation to their professional growth. While there are a few expert organizations and groups like WIMBIZ e.t.c , more institutions need to be set up and women-focused networking events held to encourage the women so as to spur growth in their businesses as well.
This is a huge issue that has specifically affected the presence of women in the Nigerian tech scene. In Nigeria, a majority of people still like to think that certain businesses or tasks are better handled by men than women. You rarely see women driving a commercial bus, working as a mechanic or running a tech start-up as the society often assume women are generally incompetent in certain fields of work. Women now think twice before owning or delving into certain businesses because of the stigma that could come with it. And while you think this challenge may be uncommon, it actually has played a strong role in hampering the proliferation of women-owned businesses.
Nkem Ndem is a PR Associate at Jumia Travel.
Economy: Simplistic Thinking in Africa and African American Communities
By Nneka Okumazie
There is caution in African American communities not to criticise each other to avoid appearing to take the side of others against the community. This agreement, useful in a few cases, has become part of the problem of the community where there is an appearance to condone horrible things.
If the problem is to avoid sounding like others, then another channel to criticize but not sound like others should have been sought.
In the community, the killings of the same kind, even for some who have made it, sometimes over absurd things, meets mute responses or fierce firestorm from the leaders of the community.
Do not criticize has allowed all kinds of comments and behaviours to fester in the community, and it keeps getting worse, but everyone minds their business because black people come first even if it is evil.
There is a limit to protests. There is a limit to heightened sensitivity over the past. There is a limit to ignoring internal responsibility. Proclamation of emancipation is a starting point, but every other way, as a people, to ensure more strength has to be sought. Civil rights are great but there is a need for the kind of economic success of Asia to be strong and not act or be seen as a victim because victimhood is limited.
There is a limit to entitlement for the sake of it, in a time when economic concerns are a priority for all. An individual success story is already old for a people with the majority on the lower economic and social side. A charity that benefits a small number of people in a small community is negligible for people. Speaking out for the sake of it, against oppression by other races, is also limited for a successful black. Whatever feel-good story on history or origin may promote fantasy, but ensures backwardness in reality.
As more blacks, everywhere, are getting prominent and failing in some positions, the other races have been able to lob criticisms without getting racial, something that many blacks do not attempt for each other.
There are streams of simplistic thinking that are static ends for a people, and breaking out of it, as a people is important for progress.
In Africa, most people keep saying the government is the problem or corruption. But there are different countries, structures, regions, states, governments, etc. yet there is hardly a major success story comparable with some in Asia.
Asian success is different people in different sectors making progress ahead and above the government so that government gets to adopt those into policy. If everyone with some responsibility or a few in different fields pursues major progress, the government does not have the power to crush all of them. The government would have to adopt or enable some. The excellence that made those would have them draw others. The government too would promote some policies whose success or adoption would meet the advancement the people are seeking, so it would work.
But what is obvious in most African countries is that the government often has the best answer, which is often really low, so from other sectors, things are lower, so most things are worse. And whenever there is a crisis, it is even far worse, because those who could try have failed, so left to the government, everything goes down.
Government is not the problem in any African country so long they have sectors and people who hold responsibility. Simplistic thinking says it is government.
Some have also said that they should use African religions for swearing officials into the office to prevent corruption. If enacted, some people would find a way around it, so it solves nothing.
There are desperate Africans who migrate to other continents, by the sea, desert and other ways, to find survival. Their move is parallel to professionals who run away too, because the place is bad, as a belief, not because they are actually in some dire situation.
There is a comment on brain drain, but brain drain is not a problem for professionals who are replaceable. Many of them would not do better than what government would do, so leaving or staying makes little difference, so no matter the certificates or certifications, it is not a brain drain if their work had not been consistently aiming at progress.
For many, success is seen as location or position when success is time or other things not related to material or resources. The things that are needed for progress, like courage, fairness, sincerity, honour, and selfless diligence for all that is not available, makes many to point to the wrong things.
[Psalm 144:4, Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.]
How to Properly Store and Preserve Value of Dry Hay Bales
By Regina Thomas
Hay bales are a key ingredient in many farm animals’ diets, providing them with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. However, storing and preserving hay bales can be challenging, as they are susceptible to damage from weather, pests, and other factors. Here are eight tips for properly storing and preserving your hay bales.
1. Choose a Dry, Sunny Spot for Storage
One way to properly store and preserve the value of dry hay bales is to choose a dry, sunny spot for storage. Hay bales are susceptible to mould and rot if stored in a moist location, so it is important to find a spot that will stay dry. A sunny spot will also help to prevent mould growth by keeping the bales warm and dry. If you cannot find a sunny spot, you can protect your bales by covering them with a tarp or plastic sheet.
2. Stack the Bales on Pallets
Another way to properly store and preserve the value of dry hay bales is to stack the bales on pallets. This will help keep the bales off the ground, preventing moisture from seeping in and damaging the hay. Stacking the bales on pallets will also allow air to circulate them, further preventing mould growth. If you are stacking the bales in a barn or shed, leave enough space between the rows for ventilation.
3. Inspect the Bales Regularly
It is vital to inspect the bales regularly to ensure that they are not becoming damp or mouldy. If you see any signs of moisture, move the affected bale to a drier location immediately. Mould can spread quickly through a stack of hay bales, so it is important to catch it early. By following these simple storage tips, you can help to preserve the value of your dry hay bales.
4. Use a Tarp or Other Cover to Protect Bales from Direct Sunlight
Another excellent way to properly store and preserve the value of dry hay bales is to use a tarp to protect them from direct sunlight. Hay bales are extremely flammable; even a small spark can set them ablaze. By using a fire retardant tarp, you can help to prevent any tragic accidents from happening. In addition, the tarp will also help to keep the hay dry and free from mould and mildew. Tarps are inexpensive and easy to find, so there’s no excuse not to use one. Make sure to store your hay bales in a safe, dry place, and you’ll enjoy their benefits for years to come.
5. Rotate Your Stock
Another step in preserving hay bales is to rotate them regularly. This means using the oldest bales and storing new ones at the back of your storage area. This helps to prevent your hay from going bad and keeps it in good condition. Rotating your stock is essential to preserving the value of your dry hay bales.
6. Avoid Excessive Moisture
If you’re planning to store dry hay bales for any time, it’s important to take steps to prevent excessive moisture from damaging the hay. One way to do this is to store the bales in a well-ventilated area where they won’t be exposed to excessive humidity. It’s also a good idea to cover the bales with a tarp or other breathable cover to further protect them from moisture.
7. Use Pest Control Methods If Necessary
If you live in an area with many pests, it’s important to protect your hay. Insects can quickly destroy a bale of hay, making it worthless. Several pest control methods are available, and you should choose the one that best suits your needs.
One popular method is to cover the hay with a plastic sheet. This will create a barrier that will keep most pests out. You can also try using insecticides but follow the instructions carefully.
By following these simple tips, you can help to preserve the value of your dry hay bales and keep them in good condition for years to come. Hay is a valuable commodity, so protecting it from damage is important. By storing the bales properly and rotating your stock regularly, you can help to ensure that your hay bales will stay in a good state for a long time.
2023 Election: The Role of Media Monitoring Services
By Queen Nwabueze
This 2023 election season is a true test of the much-vaunted objectivity of journalists.
Journalism’s pursuit of objectivity strives to enable readers to form their OWN opinions about a story. This implies that the media (mainstream and digital) must present the facts solely before allowing the potential voters to offer them their interpretation. Again, this means that news organisations should present the facts as they are, whether or not they agree with them.
Lovely on paper, yeah? But has this really been the focus of our media since the polls for 2023 began to be conducted? No!
A well-liked TV station reporter was recently discredited for having ties to a well-liked political party (names withheld for ethical reasons).
Hold on for a moment! Let’s sketch out the perfect situation once more. In journalism, objectivity means refusing to embellish any facts or details in order to strengthen a narrative or better align a topic with a predetermined objective. Similarly, according to the profession of journalism’s neutrality standards, news should be reported in an objective, fair, and impartial way. In actuality, according to this idea, journalists should support NONE of the competing political parties and should instead just present the pertinent information to everybody.
How about disengagement? The journalist’s emotional stance is referred to as detachment. Basically, reporters MUST approach topics not only objectively but also with a cold, emotionless mentality. This tactic calls for the telling of tales in a calm, collected manner, allowing potential voters to make their own decisions apart from the influence of social or traditional media. Again, all of these principles seem sensible on paper.
You might be wondering why this article focuses so much on the Disneyland roles that the media play during elections.
Sorry, but without hammering our media, we cannot properly address the subject of “2023 Election: The Role of Media Monitoring Services.” The role of media monitoring services should reflect the fact that the media’s actions and inactions are at the centre of every aspect of elections and electioneering. That is the reality!
Election seasons do in fact coincide with times of increased media attention and reporting, with each political party seemingly desperate to take the helm of the nation, as we’ve seen in more recent years. These times of change are frequently marked by extremely competitive rhetoric, escalating tensions, occasional political bullying, and occasionally even violent confrontation and death desires.
Since the media is the main driver of these dynamics, political candidates and campaign offices should use media monitoring services, if only to uncover information that is hidden from plain view and has the potential to prevent voters from receiving enough information to make informed voting decisions.
You may track your candidacy, your opponents, public media conversation, and even detractors in real-time across all media in Nigeria, including print, online, broadcast, and social. P+ Measurement Services is one such media monitoring service.
Largely as a result of Walter Lippmann’s work, the concept of objectivity in journalism as we know it now exists. After the excesses of yellow journalism, Lippmann urged impartiality in journalism. The yellows of the period, he said, had served their role, but the populace needed to hear the truth, not a “romanticized version of it.”
Not to cry anymore over already spilled milk, but this article strongly suggests that you hire expert media monitors to join your campaign organization and conduct your listening on your behalf. Do not employ individuals who are unqualified to watch your media.
You may have noticed that the electorate now lives online in this era of online media—your own potential voters! Where are they getting their political message from? If it’s in your favour, are you certain?
Since internet media has become so crucial, it is not advisable to quickly enter and leave.
Who is keeping watch of the media for you? Are they qualified?
Online media has significantly altered how individuals consume political messages. These advances have also resulted in certain unfavourable occurrences, such as a significant rise in material that is unreliable, context-free, and biased against you and your political party.
For instance, a number of studies have shown P+ Measurement Services that your critics are using newly forming social and tribal divisions to preach to your adherents. What will you do next, then? If your party is sincerely committed to winning the 2023 elections, we advise you to use media monitoring services to provide you with accurate information.
PPlus’ approach is straightforward. To manage the perceptions that shape your reality across the media, they engage in 24/7 media fact-checking, media monitoring, and traction using international standard listening and intelligence tools/metrics; they then report back to you with the crucial findings/feedback and hand you the precise places you need to influence.
Queen Nwabueze is a Media and Content Strategist based in Lagos
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