Nigeria: Empowering Female Entrepreneurs Across Borders


Although small and medium enterprises account for nearly 80 per cent of jobs globally, women own nearly 10 million of the SMEs. However, despite the high participation rate, they continuously face the challenge of accessing information, funds, and financing. To address these, the Women Empowered Leave Legacies through Trade and Investment Initiative was launched by the US government for women in Middle East and Africa.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) of Commerce for Middle East and Africa Camille Richardson launched the Women Empowered Leave Legacies through Trade and Investment (WELTI) Initiative.

American Business Council in Nigeria CEO and Executive Secretary Margaret Olele participated in virtual session entitled: “Women Empowered Leave Legacies through Trade and Investment (WELLTI).” The event was organised by the U.S. Commercial Service Office, the diplomatic arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and part of the U.S. Foreign Service.

The session was attended by over 400 attendees from around the world, and featured women leaders from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce affiliates in the MENA region including Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Abu Dhabi, Nigeria, and South Africa.

The session’s discussion revolved around opportunities, challenges, and solutions for women doing business in the Middle East and Africa. The conversation gave attendees insights and advice from experienced women chamber leaders in the region.

The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) of Commerce for Middle East and Africa Camille Richardson launched the event and briefed attendees about the WELTI initiative, which aims to bring together leading businesswomen from the United States and the MENA region to discuss strategies. These techniques can provide them with the data, knowledge, contacts, and financing to increase international trade.