The Managing Director of Wema Bank, Moruf Oseni, has called for innovative financing solutions during the bank’s donor roundtable titled “Innovative Financing: Gender-lens and climate resilient solution,” held in Lagos over the weekend.
The call was made in a bid to address the pressing challenges faced by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
PLATFORM TIMES reports that the MD said that despite being the largest employers of labour in Nigeria, MSMEs are grappling with various hurdles such as limited access to capital.
He however, canvassed the need for critical managerial skills, market access difficulties, logistical challenges, a sluggish economy, and heightened inflation.
Oseni highlighted these issues as impediments preventing the growth and survival of many small businesses across the country.
Addressing the evolving challenges posed by climate change, Oseni emphasized the necessity of creating tailor-made financing models.
These models aim to bridge funding disparities and ensure flexibility and ease of access to the specific needs of Small and Medium Enterprises in the face of shifting societal dynamics caused by climate-related disruptions.
“The world we face is a transformed one,” stated Oseni. He pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the impacts of climate change, has significantly altered global dynamics, disrupting economies and supply chains.
In response to these challenges, Oseni stressed the importance of fostering financial solutions that address the unique needs of SMEs, particularly in a world where youth and women bear a disproportionate burden.
Highlighting Wema Bank’s commitment to supporting its customers, Oseni revealed that the bank disbursed over N28 billion in loans to businesses across Nigeria in 2023.
This financial support reflects the institution’s ongoing efforts to empower businesses both digitally and financially.
Dr. AMA Onyerinma, Co-founder of Africa Sustainable Trade, echoed the sentiment by emphasizing the urgent need to address gender inequality challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.
She stressed that tackling these issues is crucial for fostering a more inclusive and resilient economic landscape.
As Wema Bank continues to champion innovative financing solutions, the hope is that these efforts will contribute to the growth and sustainability of MSMEs and empower women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
The donor roundtable serves as a platform for stakeholders to collaborate in creating effective strategies to overcome the multifaceted challenges currently hindering the progress of these vital sectors.
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