Poor packaging, labeling major challenges confronting female entrepreneurship in Nigeria ― Awolowo

• As NEPC trains women entrepreneurs in Ibadan

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has identified poor packaging and labeling for export as major challenges facing female entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, identified this at a Capacity Building Workshop For Women-Owned Businesses On Packaging For Export held in Ibadan.

Speaking at the event, Awolowo noted that entrepreneurs must be guided by the fact that packaging is as important as the product itself.

Whether for local sales or for export, Awolowo emphasised that female entrepreneurs must not see packaging as just for the protection of the product but one that influences purchase decision.

Consequently, Awolowo, who was represented at the event by Bolanle Emmanuel, noted the urgent need to increase women’s potential to participate in high-level businesses that can foster financial empowerment, job creation and social development in their communities.

He said the NEPC’s focused on the development and promotion of women entrepreneurs due to the need for Nigeria to optimise export activities and enhance foreign exchange earnings.

He added that attention is being given to promoting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) especially in sectors like agriculture, textiles & apparel, services.

He expressed hope that the participants at the workshop will efficiently learn the art of packaging and branding to enable them to launch their product into the international market.

Awolowo said, “A recent survey conducted by World Bank revealed that Nigeria has one of the highest rates of female entrepreneurship in the world. However, most of these businesses are classified as low-level female entrepreneurship because they operate in informal sectors that yield very little income.

“There is an urgent need to increase women’s potential to participate in high-level businesses that can foster financial empowerment, job creation and social development in their communities.

“However, the council has identified a number of challenges confronting them in Nigeria. Crucial among these is poor packaging and labeling for export.

“We need not emphasize the fact that packaging is as important as the product itself.

“It provides protection to the product as well as influence purchase decision especially at the point of purchase. It is a vital issue that cannot be overlooked based on its positive influence on the product.”

Resource persons at the workshop, Mrs Onu Leticia and Omokide-Elempe Sherifat stressed the need for women exporters to prioritize packaging and labeling of their products.

Onu of the Women in Export Division, Export Development & Incentives Department, NEPC, emphasised that packaging was key to sustainability and safety of products.

Onu enjoined women entrepreneurs to understand the physical and chemical components of their packaging such that it does not contaminate their products.

Omokide-Elempe, who is Principal Trade Promotion Officer, Women in Export Division, Export Development & Incentives Department, NEPC, simply noted that branding could make or mar the acceptability of products in the international market.

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