By Rashidat Okunlade

As part of the activities to celebrate International Women’s Month, LAPO Microfinance Bank (MfB), a premium financial institution recently hosted the maiden edition of the first-ever TEDXLagos women’s event on 30th of March 2024 at the bank’s magnificent building in Lagos.

Focused on empowerment and fostering financial inclusion, the event aimed at stimulating presentations and dialogues designed to stimulate discussions and encourage constructive transformation within the community.

Keynote speaker Mope Abudu, Managing Director, AfriGloCal VC, emphasised that the need for allocating resources towards enhancing women’s economic empowerment is paramount for both societal advancement and overall economic prosperity.

“Imagine if more women were involved in lawmaking. Their unique perspectives would undoubtedly result in more balanced and inclusive legislation. These are some of the successes we’ve observed. Furthermore, while women are often viewed as the supportive gender, this should not undermine their capacity for leadership, ownership, or managerial roles. Unfortunately, we still see a disproportionate representation of women in such positions. Despite these challenges, one sector in Nigeria is making commendable progress: the financial sector. We should acknowledge the efforts of the nine women making strides in this field”

Morenike Molehin, CEO of Oak & Teak Interiors, echoed the significance of enforcing inclusion in the workplace. She noted, “it is just beautiful to see the amazing things that women do. When women decide to do something, I think they do it ten times over. Always in invest in yourselves and try to invest in other younger women”. Molehin underscored that inclusion is not merely rhetoric but a fundamental principle driving innovation, creativity, and progress.

In the fireside chat, Peggy Idehen, LAPO MfB’s Chief Compliance Officer, emphasized the importance of eliminating time-wasting activities for women. She stressed that successful individuals prioritize their time effectively by identifying and eliminating both business and personal distractions.

Addressing the significance of the TEDXLagos Women Event, Convener Mercy Akanmo highlighted the inspirational success stories shared by speakers. According to her, “These narratives are intended to motivate women attendees. Akanmo further urged women to actively engage in networking with their peers, emphasizing the importance of forming strong alliances that can propel their businesses forward.

Remi Akande, Director Marketing Corporate Communications reiterated that the event is part of LAPO’s agenda of focusing on fostering inclusivity. He said, “Notably, 75% of LAPO’s clientele comprises women, highlighting our commitment to empowering them. Through initiatives such as financial education and awareness, we enable women to make informed decisions regarding

Speaking at the second session, Building Resilience as a Woman moderated by the PR Manager, LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited, Joan Adu said, “We believe that resilience is not just about bouncing back from setbacks, but also about growing stronger and more capable in the face of challenges. We aim to provide women with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to thrive in every aspect of their lives.”

LAPO Microfinance Bank Partners TEDxLagos To Drive Financial Inclusion
LAPO Microfinance Bank Partners TEDxLagos To Drive Financial Inclusion

In his remarks, Shina Gbadegesin, Managing Director of GOXI Microinsurance, highlighted the significance of this gathering as a platform for women’s empowerment and the importance of investing in education. He emphasized the critical issue of women’s recidivism, particularly focusing on the role of national education in addressing this challenge.

Gbadegesin underscored the pivotal role of national education in ensuring equitable access to financial services for all members of society, enabling them to navigate financial shocks and work towards stability effectively. “Financial inclusion entails national education which encompasses not only access to financial services but also the empowerment of individuals to actively engage with these services”.

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