The Small and Medium Enterpriss Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), yesterday flagged off the national business skills development initiative for Lagos State.
Over 1000 entrepreneurs are expected to benefit from the programme that is already running in some states.
SMEDAN’s director-general, Dikko Radda said small and medium enterprises are critical in the Nigerian economy. He said the initiative would trigger an entrepreneurial revolution in industrialisation, agriculture, and commerce in Nigeria.
The SMEDAN DG explained that the programme is running in 11 states in the country including: Katsina, Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Niger, Lagos, Kwara, Bauchi, Zamfara and Ekiti where a total of 1,397 entrepreneurs would be impacted with entrepreneurship skills, vocational skills, and empowerment materials.
He said the initiative has been concluded in Ebonyi, Niger, and Adamawa, with others commencing subsequently.
Radda said the expected outcomes of the programme include improved business management practice; improved service provision by trained artisans; increased access to finance, equipment and other business resource; increase in the number of formalised artisinal businesses; improved market support services by MDAs and responsible stakeholders to MSMEs.
Other expectations from the initiative also include improved satisfaction level of customers of artisans through improved service delivery and Increased patronage of Nigerian artisans.
“MSMEs collectively account for a majority of the enterprises in Nigeria and also account for the highest number of jobs created in the economy.
“The most recent National MSMEs Survey of 2017 revealed that there are 41,543,028 MSMEs, employing 59,647,954 (76.5% of labour force) and contributing 49.78% and 7.64% to nominal GDP and exports respectively.
“In recent times, the start-up ecosystem has received a lot of attention globally for their role as economic catalysts. A lot of emphasis have been put on the MSMEs segment leading to the creation of departments which have now become part of the strategic focus of financial institutions, multilateral agencies and economic planners,” he said.
Radda also disclosed that SMEDAN would establish a rating agency in its bid to enable small scale businesses have easy access to loans.
He explained that the rating agency, which would be an agency within SMEDAN, would be known as ‘Small and Medium Enterprises Rating Agency’ (SMERAN).
According to him, it would be established in partnership with the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), the Bank of Industry (BOI) and others.