Nigeria Gender Lens Entrepreneurship and Investing Report

Authored by: Girls Who Venture

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Economic Participation, Economic Recovery, Human Development, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health
Country: Nigeria
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2020
Citation: "Nigeria Gender Lens Entrepreneurship and Investing Report." Girls Who Venture. 2020.

Access the Resource:

Executive Summary

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation of over 200 million people, has upgraded its ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 Index. The West African nation now ranks 131, up by 15 spots compared to the previous year, making it one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world for running a business—for the second time in a row. Among the reforms it improved are: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, trading across borders, and enforcing contracts. The index assesses the business environment in 190 countries using indicators such as paying taxes, trading across borders, starting a business, and protecting minority investors, among others. It is released yearly.

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, in a Twitter statement, said his goal is for Nigeria to be in the top 70 countries by 2023. The seventh most populous nation in the world has also climbed higher by 39 spots since the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council was established in 2016, which aimed to minimize the constraints of starting and running a business in the country. In fact, just three countries – India, China, and Nigeria – are expected to account for 35 percent of the growth in the world’s urban population between 2018 and 2050, according to a 2018 UN Report on Urbanization. India is projected to add 416 million urban dwellers, while China is expected to add 255 million, and Nigeria 189 million.

However, according to a 2019 publication, women’s participation in the largest African economy has not grown much in the last two decades. SheTrades: Promoting SME Competitiveness in Nigeria, a report from the International Trade Centre (ITC) that looked at around 400 women-owned or led businesses in Nigeria, showed that only 50 percent of all women in Nigeria in 2018 participated in the labor force – barely an increase since 1990. The report identifies societal and economic challenges that entrepreneurs face while highlighting the support Nigerian women need to grow their enterprises. This includes registration and certification, banking, skills development, and flexible work environments. The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2019, now on its third year of profiling the progress and achievement of women entrepreneurs/business owners across 58 societies around the world, revealed that in Nigeria, although women’s workforce participation rate is very low with only 13.2 percent of working age women active in the workforce, Nigerian women are also highly motivated by improvement-driven opportunities (73.8 percent compared to 25.3 percent for necessity-driven). This, as women’s tertiary education enrolment rate continues to be low at 8 percent. Women in Nigeria, according to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2019, are backed by a strong and positive culture that applauds entrepreneurial success, business risk taking, and innovation, and individuality, despite the existing systemic barriers brought about by challenges of doing business and poor quality of governance