Monday, July 15, 2024

Breaking Barriers and Championing Inclusivity: The Rise of Women in Fintech and SMEs


Women are breaking barriers in fintech and SMEs – 9PSB CEO

The recent Digital Pay Expo and Exhibition, held at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos, showcased the remarkable strides women are making in the fintech sector and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This year’s theme, ‘Redefining Payment,’ put a spotlight on the evolving payment preferences of Millennials and Gen Z, demonstrating the pressing need for innovations that cater to the largest demographic cohorts in the market.

During a significant session titled ‘Women in Fintech: Inclusive Finance for SMEs,’ aimed at mentoring female undergraduates from various institutions of higher learning across Lagos State, Branka Mracajac, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB), highlighted the progress achieved by women in fintech and SMEs. She noted the shift from previous years, observing that women are not only competing with their male counterparts for prestigious roles but are increasingly assuming leadership positions across finance, fintech, and various other sectors. Mracajac emphasized the driven efforts to combat gender disparity and promote inclusivity, ensuring equal opportunities and growth across the board.

“Women are founding many business entities and SMEs. It’s paramount to maintain the right mindset, to work hard, educate yourselves, and to acquire the requisite expertise and skills. Networking and finding inspirational figures are key components towards seizing opportunities. The fintech industry needs more female leaders to motivate the younger generation, something that was less prevalent in my time,” Mracajac stated, underscoring the dynamic shifts in professional opportunities available to women today.

Joining her in the discourse were other influential female CEOs from the fintech sector, including Ronke Kuye of SANEF, Nigeria; Dr. Markie Idowu from Xpress Payment Solutions Limited; Kemi Okunsanya of Hydrogen, Nigeria; and Yemi Keri from Heckerbella Limited. These leaders shared invaluable advice with the young attendees, stressing the importance of securing mentors, building strong networks, harnessing social media for communication, and showcasing their capabilities and experiences. They urged the future workforce to strive for excellence, add value to their prospective organizations, and cultivate enduring professional relationships.

The Digital Pay Expo, an annual confluence for regulators, executives, and innovators within the fintech and payment solutions arena, serves as a catalyst for industry progression. It enables stakeholders to explore innovative technologies and cases poised to accelerate growth within the fintech ecosystem, fostering a collaborative environment for the realization of this vision.

As the world continuously evolves, events like the Digital Pay Expo play a crucial role in highlighting the achievements and challenges of women in the fintech and SME sectors, encouraging a more inclusive and equitable industry landscape.

Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark brings a dynamic and investigative approach to business reporting. Holding a degree in Business Administration and a certification in Data Analysis, Jordan has an eye for detail and a knack for uncovering the stories behind the numbers. His career began in the bustling world of Silicon Valley startups, giving him firsthand experience in tech entrepreneurship and venture capital. Jordan's reports often focus on technology's impact on business, startup culture, and emerging

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