Quality networking has been prescribed as one of the solutions to the many challenges that women entrepreneurs face in the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria.
This was the crux of the conversation at a workshop on Women Entrepreneurial Journeys through Tourism in sub-Saharan Africa that held at Lagos Business School (LBS) on Thursday, July 25, 2019.
Organised by Lagos Business School and the University of Surrey, England, the workshop was borne out of a Research England-funded project that studied women’s experiences of tourism entrepreneurship in Ghana and Nigeria, identify barriers to their engagement in the sector, and recommend ways to foster same.
In his opening remark, LBS Research Director, Dr Frank Ojadi said players in the tourism sector need a forum to pull them together hence the importance of the workshop. He added that empowering women to take the lead in the sector will help to make income while simultaneously growing the sector.
The workshop explored challenges that exist for women in their entrepreneurial journeys, how to navigate socio-economic, cultural and financial roadblocks in the tourism industry, why women need to succeed in the industry, and bridging tourism gaps in Nigeria.
Keynote speaker, CEO, MAD Hospitality and Job-Link Foundation, Mary Dinah took the attendees through her entrepreneurial journey and her rise to success in the hospitality sector in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. She identified networking as one of the major challenges hindering women’s success in the sector.
Dinah said, “Networking is very important for entrepreneurship in any country. In Nigeria, women have not been given the freedom to network as widely and as deeply as they should and as men do. The more women are allowed to freely socialise within moral lines, the more options and opportunities will open up to them.”
Panel discussions and interactive sessions held with women leaders in the industry such as GuavaHouse Hospitality’s Bukky Arowosafe, Deft Consult’s Khadijah Junaid, Nene-Uwa Hub’s Nnenna Fakoya-Smith, Radisson Blu’s Moyo Ogunseinde, and Wonuola Olatunde-Lamidi of Diamond and Pearls Travel. The sessions were moderated by Dr Adun Okupe of the LBS Sustainability Centre and Red Clay Advisory.
Other speakers at the event include Senior Lecturer, Hospitality and Tourism, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, Dr Albert Kimbu, and LBS Marketing Faculty, Dr Ogechi Adeola who was also the lead facilitator.