Nigerian SME Sector Gets USD 1 Mn Boost – What Next?

By  |  November 20, 2018

According to an announcement made by the Kastina State Economic Empowerment Directorate, more than USD 1 Mn has been disbursed to cooperatives in the state. This information was disclosed on November 18th by the Special Adviser to the State Governor on KASEED affairs, Adbulkadir Nasir.

The information gotten from the press said that the funds were given as loans to roughly 9,700 beneficiaries across the 34 local council areas in Kastina State. According to Nasir, the disbursements were made in two batches with half a million dollars doled out in each round.

The Directorate collaborated with North West Entrepreneurship Development Center (NWEDC) to conduct training on business for about 500 unemployed youths drawn out from various parts of the state. We have seen many bodies and concerned individuals take up this task in a move to bring the nuances of entrepreneurship to the awareness of Nigerian SME owners.

While this may not be any different in scope, it does have an impact in the lives of common businesspeople and on Kastina State’s economy, as well as that of Northern Nigeria. As these small business owners learn more about enterprise, they would be able to discharge their duties more diligently, paying attention to the modern ways of doing business and conforming to the best models there are. It also opens the door of knowledge for youths looking to found businesses and become part of Nigeria’s bustling entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Additionally, 283 cooperatives, which represents 114,150 beneficiaries are reported to have received around USD 1.9 Mn, while other associations comprising two persons from each of the 361 wards, got USD 193 K for start-up. As has been the norm, these funds will be used by the beneficiaries to get their businesses off the ground and employ the best enterprise practices there are in the sector.

Interestingly, 60 percent of the youths were females and the rest comprised males, with each of them given USD 275 grants as SME set up capital. Now, women are getting their chances too – gradually disrupting the idea that the business world is a male-dominated territory.

These SMEs, youths and female business idea thinkers are expected to use the funds given them to chart courses down the path of entrepreneurship and expand from the wards to local governments and even to the state level. There is nothing stopping them from going region and country-wide because these days it doesn’t matter what you sell; it is what people buy that drives the market. If they their cards right and commit to the course, they can go on to become renowned startups in the mold of Redbird, Captain Foods, and many others.

Featured Image Courtesy: The Star, Kenya

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