VP Osinbanjo MSME

Promoting MSMEs – Osinbajo Patronize Shoemaker

Promoting MSMEs – VP Osinbajo Patronize Young Nigeria Shoemaker OJBest who had tweeted at him previously about his skills. After taking VP’S measurements, Omale Ojima -OJ came to the Villa last Monday to present the sandals. It’s all about promoting MSMES & inspiring young people.

READ ALSO: Businesses to lose over N55bn as ports halt exports

VP, Osinbajo patronizing made in Nigeria sandals and shoemaker. In addition to being cerebral and hardworking, Osinbajo is down to earth. This is another thing that’s endeared him to our hearts. Let’s not forget too that the VP is one of the biggest supporters of MSMEs in Nigeria today. The Ease of Doing Business comes to mind.

The father & encourager of MSMEs will never relent in ensuring local business strive in Nigeria. He’s a man with foresight and great vision, the initiator of MSMEs clinic for business owners, it has been effective throughout states ever since.

Also in the other news, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, @DrlsaPantami will accompany the Vice President, His Excellency, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, as the Federal Government delegation flags off the National MSME Clinic in Gombe State on Tuesday, 30th March 2021.

The clinic is aimed at supporting the ease of doing business in Nigeria by providing shared facilities with access to broadband connectivity, automation of processes, a one-stop-shop, among others.

This is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria launched and unveiled by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.


#MSMEClinics #MSMEClinicGombe #DigitalNigeria

now now

Registration for FG’s MSME survival fund to open Monday

The federal government has announced that registration for the N75 billion survival fund for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will begin on Monday, September 21.

READ ALSO: CardinalStone’s West Africa SME Fund Closes at $64M

Mariam Katagum, minister of state for industry, trade and investment, said the programme is aimed at tackling the economic challenges faced by small businesses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Katagum was speaking at the virtual commissioning of the fashion cluster shared facility for MSMEs tagged ‘Eko Fashion Hub’ in Lagos on Friday.

Katagum explained that the programme, which would run for an initial duration of three months, would be opened for 1 .7 million entities and individuals across the country.

“The federal government is fully committed to empowering Nigerians; more so in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“In this regard, the government, through the economic sustainability committee had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

“These programmes include among others, the N75 billion MSME survival fund and Guaranteed Off-take schemes of which I have the honour to chair the steering committee for the effective implementation of the projects.

“The project, which will run for an initial period of three months, is targeting 1.7 million entities and individuals and has provisions for 45 percent female-owned businesses and five per cent for those with special needs.”



FG Set To Give N30,000 Loan To 330,000 Artisans

FG Set To Give N30,000 Loan To 330,000 Self employed Artisans

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo disclosed on Monday at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSMEs Survival Fund capacity building programme in Abuja that the Bank of Industry has secured a $1 billion syndicated loan to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), self employed artisans.

READ ALSO: BOI $1bn loan will improve capacity of MSMEs

Mr. Adebayo, in a statement by his media aide, Ifedayo Sayo, said the loan would improve the bank’s capacity to support MSMEs across key sectors of the Nigerian economy.

“There is an ongoing discussion with Dunn and Bradstreet to establish an SMEs Ratings Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN) to provide an empirical basis toward analyzing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.

The minister, who spoke on efforts of the federal government to support MSMEs in the country, also reiterated the ministry’s support to MSMEs development as demonstrated by the MSMEs Survival Fund Initiative, launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by the government as part of its Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan.

“The fund comprises the Payroll Support Scheme, which aims at supporting MSMEs in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs by paying up to N50,000 to a maximum of 10 employees for three months.

“The Artisan and Transport Grant supports self-employed artisans with a one-off payment of N30,000 targeting 333,000 individuals,” Mr. Adebayo explained.

He stated further, “The General MSMEs Grant will provide 100,000 MSMEs with one-off grants of N50, 000 each, and the Guaranteed Off take Scheme aims at engaging approximately 100,000 businesses nationwide to produce items typically manufactured in their locality, targeting 300,000 beneficiaries.

“The scheme supports free registration of companies for 250,000 beneficiaries.”



BOI $1bn loan will improve capacity of MSMEs

BOI $1bn syndicate loan will improve capacity of MSMEs- FG

The Federal Government has revealed that the Bank of Industry (BoI) under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has concluded a $1billion syndicated term loan in conjunction with international partners to further support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

READ ALSO: Inflation tops discussion as MPC meets today

Disclosing this in Abuja, on Monday, at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSMEs survival Fund Capacity Building, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adebayo, said the loan is aimed at “further improving the capacity of the bank to effectively support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) – across key sectors of the Nigerian economy – with affordable loans of medium to long-term tenor, alongside moratorium benefits.”He noted that “there is an ongoing discussion with Dunn & Bradstreet to establish an SME risk rating agency – the SME Rating Agency of Nigeria (SMERAN), to provide an empirical basis towards analysing the eligibility of SMEs to access credit.

“I will like to reiterate that our Ministry fully supports MSMEs, as demonstrated by our MSME Survival Fund Initiative which was launched in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic by the Federal Government as part of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP); aimed at protecting MSME businesses from the shocks the Pandemic.”The Minister explained that the survival fund was estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country while strengthening the growth potential of beneficiary businesses, stressing that the successful implementation of the scheme so far has contributed immensely to quickly pulling Nigeria out of the COVID-19-induced recession.

He said the National MSMEs Clinics also support the growth of small businesses across the country through the provision of critical infrastructure, with twenty-six of such clinics having impressive results.

According to a statement made available to newsmen by Ifedayo Sayo, Adebayo further disclosed that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has launched the Export Expansion Facility (EEF) under the NESP, to support the resilience of new and existing MSMEs to respond to the shocks of the COVID-19 Pandemic to retain and create more jobs, especially youth and women businesses through the Youth Export Development Programme (YEDP) and Promoting Women Inclusiveness in Non-Oil Export.



MTN EnGauge Platform Unveils to Transform SME Business Transactions

MTN Nigeria has launched a new unified customer engagement platform, EnGauge, designed to enable small-to-medium enterprise business owners to seamlessly administer transactions with customers, potentially increasing their productivity significantly.

READ ALSO: NEC: Poor electricity, multiple taxations killing MSME

Developed in partnership with Ajua™, a leading African start-up, MTN EnGauge is an agile application that offers innovative customer management solutions, including digital payments using a unique USSD code, CRM tools, customer feedback channels, debt management and tracking, business and product promotions through mobile and social media channels.

The solution is downloadable on the Google Play store and only available on the MTN network (for now) with a monthly subscription of N500 and a yearly subscription of N5,500. Following installation and registration, businesses are automatically provided with a unique USSD code that allows their customers to interact, transact and communicate with them in real-time.

With MTN Engauge, entrepreneurs can securely receive payment, track transactions with each of their customers and glean valuable insights to serve them better based on their preferences and buying behaviour. “MTN EnGauge is the ideal platform for business owners and entrepreneurs to thrive in the ‘new normal.’ Entrepreneurs have had to re-organise their core business models through backward and forward integration to maintain relevance. The EnGauge mobile application helps make this possible and seamless,” said Lynda Saint-Nwafor, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Nigeria.

To showcase the platform, MTN held a live demonstration session via Zoom, where business owners were presented with the benefits of adopting the solution.

“The fundamental engine of business growth is customers. By design, EnGauge solves most of the challenges SMEs experience, from digitally engaging their customers to cash management,” said Kenfield Griffith, the Founder and CEO of Ajua. “With MTN as a partner and their reach across the continent, we believe MTN EnGauge will have a positive and impactful trajectory, driving transformational business growth for SMEs,” he added.

MTN EnGauge was launched to the Y’ello 200 in February, beneficiaries of MTN’s Revv Programme, thus fulfilling the telco giant’s promise that the SMEs will be first to enjoy solutions from her stable.


Electricity NEC MSMEs

NEC: Poor electricity, multiple taxations killing MSME

ABUJA—A Sub-national Environment Survey report submitted to the National Economic Council, NEC, has identified poor electricity supply, deplorable road infrastructure and multiple taxations as some of the challenges impeding the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Most MSMEs Can’t Withstand Shocks—Olurotimi

The report was submitted to NEC by the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole during the virtual meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Dr Oduwole said her office would be working with the states to resolve the issues.

According to her, “Businesses have said that electricity supply is beat low, the hours are low. Then, we will be working with the governors and federal agencies to look into areas like that. “SMEs also talked about road infrastructure, they talked about regulatory challenges, paying of taxes, the multiplicity of charges. “So, we will be working with the state’s internal revenue agencies to ensure that there is harmony.” Dr Oduwole disclosed that the report was a peer review document that would enable state governments to see how they are doing in comparison with other states in providing a conducive business environment. “So, the Ease of Doing Business Councils reports to the states’ executive councils and they implement the report just like PEBEC and FEC; so, the system is replicated across the country. “We believe that as we continue to drill down into Nigeria, progressively making it easier to do business, our productivity will increase as we support our SMEs. “We make sure that on competitiveness, we are working actively at it even as AFCFTA has gone into life and the journey of continuous improvement and institutionalization of the reform agenda is the top priority for the administration”, she said. She explained that the survey was conducted across Nigeria by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, which has been on a nationwide tour, called iteration, since 2019, to meet and interview SMEs on their operations. “So, we decided to carry out an empirical survey; it was carried out by KPMG. “The methodology framework had earlier been approved by NEC as far back as 2018 and we have four homegrown indicator areas on which the survey is based which are infrastructure and security; transparency and access to information; the regulatory environment and skills and labour readiness in each state and the Federal Capital Territory.” Oduwole said that the objective of the report was to provide a status report of the state’s business climate and to provide a baseline on the business climate of each state. “It is also going to help states as they prepare for their sub-national World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking which is done once every four years,” Oduwole stated. Also, briefing correspondents on the government’s plans to formulate a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Policy on prudent public spending, Governor of Nassarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, said this is to strengthen accountability. Governor Sule said that the policy would also provide an “independent objective assessment of the merit of public policy strategies, programme as well as projects” and “a source of reliable meaningful information for the citizens to assess government policy.” According to Sule, the objectives of the National M&E Policy were “to establish monitoring and evaluation as a source of credible information so as to guide government’s decisions, planning, resource allocation and expenditure; to strengthen accountability and feedback by the government to Nigerians; and to provide effective guide for the MDAs for the conduct of M&E functions. “The policy will also enhance coordination and monitoring and evaluation processes within the Nigerian public sector for standardization in the practice of M&E. “We noted that the policy recommends that policies by our key programmes and projects must be evaluated and summary of evaluation shall be presented to the Federal Executive Council and the State Executive Council at the state levels. “We also noted that there’s going to need to establish a National Council on Evaluation under the chairmanship of the Minister of Finance who is responsible for the M&E.” Sule said that state governments were expected to domesticate the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy for effective performance tracking as well as continuous monitoring.

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Most MSMEs Can’t Withstand Shocks—Olurotimi

Businesses may have suffered their worst year in 2020, but this year will see Micro, Small, and Medium Scales Enterprises (MSMEs) thrive if they work on all the lessons learnt and use them to adapt to the changing landscape, Mr Seye Olurotimi, the founder of MSMEs Africa, has said.

READ ALSO: Leveraging technology to optimise MSMEs, empower women

Mr Olurotimi, while appearing as a guest on TV Continental’s programme called Business Nigeria anchored by Mr Tolu Ogunjobi, which was monitored by Business Post, noted that small businesses do not have shock absorbers, which he said affected them when the global economy was faced with an unprecedented health crisis last year.

In his words, “MSMEs don’t have shock absorbers to withstand what the big corporates could absolve and when COVID-19 came and forced people to stay back at home, a lot of them didn’t have the infrastructure to run their services.

“It affected the way they made money. So, people could not make money, couldn’t meet their obligations, some have debts. Many have had to lay off their staff because they could not afford them.”

Mr Olurotimi noted that the recession that came with the situation led many to grapple with a lot as it made it harder for them to meet up with a lot of obligations.

FG’s interventions good

However, he commended several interventions from the federal government, which he said some have benefitted from. But he noted that the programme could not meet the demands of the over 40 million SMEs in the country.

Mr Olurotimi praised the payroll scheme of the federal government, which helped to pay workers and not business founders for a specified period, adding that the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme helped to provide funds to produce goods and also provided avenue’s to help them sell these goods.

While lauding these schemes, he advised the FG not to “just give people money” but should “train them on how to use them,” submitting that “for every intervention, let’s create a part that trains people on how to manage businesses so as to build capacity.”

He further said that despite the considerable improvement made as regards the movement of Nigeria in the ranks of global ease of doing business, there was more the country could do. Nigeria moved 15 places to 131 from 146 out of the 190 countries assessed by the World Bank.

He charged the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to do more, explaining that the rate that businesses spend on electricity, rent and transport are not sustainable for business.


Excellence MSMEs

Leveraging technology to optimise MSMEs, empower women

Leveraging technology to optimise MSMEs, empower women

The Team Lead, Excellence Advisory Limited, a technology business support services provider, Excellence Anurika Joshua, is leveraging technology to help Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) build structure and run their businesses with ease. She is also the founder, Techy Train, her company’s training arm, which offers technology-based vocational skills primarily to women and youths. It has trained over 3000 women and youths from across Nigeria, Ghana, United States and United Kingdom so far. She shares the inspiring story of her rise to firm and fortune, her initial challenges and plans with Assistant Editor CHIKODI OKEREOCHA.

READ ALSO: Paylink partners Google to train 15,000 MSMEs in Nigeria

Her fighting spirit is extraordinary. While women faced with the same or similar challenges as hers, when she started her entrepreneurial journey in 2019 would have probably capitulated, the Team Lead, Excellence Advisory Limited, a technology business support services provider, Excellence Anurika Joshua, stayed on, refusing to give up the fight to survive in the face of a turbulent marriage, which, by her admission, became toxic shortly after wedding in 2015.

Narrating her ordeal, Excellence told The Nation that she got married in February 2015 while a student at the University of Ibadan (UI). But, unfortunately, the marriage packed up later after what she described as “Three years of severe emotional and physical abuse, a failed suicide attempt and no job.” “I was broke and I had a two-year-old son. I was desperate to survive, pay my bills and feed my son, but the more I looked for help, the more I was exposed to harassment and abuse,” she added.

But, Excellence refused to allow the situation to break her. With remarkable grit, tenacity and instinct for survival, she succeeded in weathering the storm and founded Techy Train, which provides access to technology-based vocational skills primarily to women and youths across Nigeria, Africa and the world. In fact, she was able to keep hope alive until, as she put it, “I found technology, harnessed its power and leveraged it to earn big from my bed, working virtually for individuals and corporates.”

By dint of hard work and perseverance, the 2018 graduate of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, has carved a niche for herself in the provision of technology business support services solutions to MSMEs. She said her vision is to pioneer a paradigm shift in entrepreneurship in Africa by helping African born businesses and MSMEs build structures that are  sustainable, profitable and thrive globally.

Backed by experienced partners, an Advisory Board as well as highly motivated staff, Excellence Advisory Limited is located in Abuja. However, 90 per cent of its clients, according to the Team Lead, are outside Abuja. The company, however, takes clients globally, having been duly registered in the United States, too. But, Excellence said there were plans to expand the company’s services outside the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), even beyond Nigeria’s shores.

According to her, Excellence Advisory has a bouquet of services that have already positioned it as the destination of choice for MSMEs seeking for consultant to help them handle everything tech so they can focus on what matters most: their real businesses.

Some of the business support services that have endeared the company to MSMEs and non-profit organisations include Business Advisory Support Services (business plan development, finance model design, profit maximisation etc.); Management Consultancy Support Services (marketing template design, product design, services design, corporate communications etc.); Learning and Development Support Services (business training, customised trainings etc.)

Others are Business Operations (customer relations, cash management etc.); Process Re-engineering Support Services (creating internal structures, finance and audit processes, procurement, and supply chain design etc.); Strategic Branding Support Services (digital marketing, social media campaigns, brand statement design etc.); Info-tech Support Services (software development, APP development, website development, bulk SMS).

A key aspect of Excellence Advisory’s soaring brand, according to the Team Lead, is its subsidiary Techy Train. Registered as a business in July 2019 and formerly called Animations with Excellence, Techy Train is the training arm of Excellence Advisory Limited. The platform provides access to technology based vocational skills mostly to women and the youth. And it does this by using “accelerated learning” techniques that allow trainees to learn faster and remember more of what they learn.

As the Abuja-based budding entrepreneur explained: “The key is “involvement.” Our approach follows from the old saying: “What you hear, you forget; what you see, you remember; what you do, you understand.” Our lessons are simplified and practically tailored, which gives you an option to actually see what you’re learning beyond learning using our engaging audio + visual demonstration technique that helps you apply faster and immediately.

“Furthermore, you have an option of joining our robust internship where you get to do and grow and then earn. So, when women sign up with us, they learn, work and earn. We have trained over 3000 individuals from across Nigeria, Ghana, United States and United Kingdom. Over 20 per cent of them have gone up to get good employment in the online media space, while over 50 per cent have used the lessons they learnt to grow their business/enterprise and some have gone on to up-skill further in tech.”

The Biomedical Scientist-turned entrepreneur  emphasised: “Technology provides a level- playing ground for women across the world to work and earn good from their convenience and on flexible terms.” While pointing out, for instance, that there are thousands of women who are in the unemployed state she used to be, broke and desperate but handicapped, she said she founded Techy Train to help such women earn more money from the comfort of their homes leveraging technology-based vocational skills.

Excellence, who stated that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria is high, said women are the worst hit. She, however, added that the COVID-19 pandemic made the situation worse for them. While pointing out that the situation of women unemployment in Nigeria was more of an issue of underemployment, she said: “Women are rather exposed to vocational skills like soap making, hair making without going further to the skills for the future: technology skills.”

The Digital Skills Trainer explained that through Techy Train’s online academy, the company offers women skills like web design, effective social media management, virtual assistance, design thinking, graphic design and more.

“Our lessons are highly simplified and pre-recorded screen practical for them to access at their pace and convenience.

“The uniqueness we provide beyond simplifying their learning process is our skill bank where participants of our training who have scored 80 per cent and above in cumulative assessment and discipline are inducted into and offered opportunities to work and their skills further improved.

“We also provide technology services like digital marketing, content creation, video editing and more that aim at helping women build sustainable businesses leveraging technology to build structure and running their business with ease. We do this by teaching them how to do it themselves, doing it for them or doing it with them,” Excellence said.

But how did Excellence Advisory Limited and its subsidiary, Animations with Excellence, registered in August 2020 and July 2019, respectively, become hot items in Nigeria’s MSME space and women empowerment in such a remarkably short time to the extent that she could look back and say with so much pride and confidence that “I am beyond amazed at the rapid growth, the lives touched, level of impact reached as well as the profit made?”




Paylink partners Google to train 15,000 MSMEs in Nigeria

To help Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and reposition them to take advantage of opportunities of a post-COVID future, Paylink, a payment and ecommerce solution for individuals, businesses and non-profits, has partnered with tech giant, Google.

READ ALSO: Elumelu advocates strategic long-term investment to tackle poverty in Africa

The partnership is particularly geared towards empowering MSMEs with the digital expertise they require to thrive through the Paylink MSME Digital Bootcamp.

The organiser of the bootcamp, SystemSpecs, providers of Paylink, made this disclosure during the formal announcement of the expression of participation to MSMEs across Nigeria for the free seminar supported by Google.

Through a series of online trainings, MSMEs in Nigeria will be equipped with the relevant digital skills necessary to drive and scale their businesses in the digital era, recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as sustain their business on a long term.

As a developing country, MSMEs form the bedrock of enterprise and employment in Nigeria.

A statement by the Ministry of Trade and Investment says Nigeria’s over 37.07 million MSMEs account for more than 84 per cent jobs in the country.

MSMEs also account for about 48.5 per cent of the gross domestic product as well as about 7.27 per cent of goods and services exported out of the country.

The Ministry of Trade and Investment further stated that micro-enterprises, which are the smallest businesses, account for the bulk of the MSMEs in Nigeria with 36,994,578 enterprises (about 99.8 per cent).

Commenting on the partnership, SystemSpecs’ Executive Director, Corporate Strategy, ‘Deremi Atanda, said: “With more than 41 million MSMEs spread across the length and breadth of the country, it is clear that if these enterprises are empowered to attain their true potentials, they would significantly impact all strata of our economy and society at large.

“This is one of the reasons we have partnered with Google, a reputable organisation that deals with businesses across various segments of the Nigerian marketplace, to equip enterprises in the micro, small and medium-scale cadre with key requirements to thrive in a post-COVID economy.

“It is our conviction that MSMEs are an essential stakeholder group in the Nigerian project and we are committed to advancing their causes.”

Covering themes that include brand building, business growth and tools for business management and to hold on selected days in the months of March, April and May, 2021, the training leverages Google’s Digital Skills Africa programme for existing and prospective Paylink subscribers.

“COVID-19 forced many businesses to re-think their strategies and challenged long-standing entrepreneurial approaches. Among others, it brought forth the need to adopt a digital-first strategy in order to reach an extensive and largely unexplored market and ultimately grow bottom-line,” said Google Nigeria’s Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan.

“While a number of MSMEs are aware of this progressive direction, many are not. As with our other trainings, partnering with SystemSpecs to train current and prospective Paylink customers will go a long way in empowering more stakeholders in Nigeria’s MSMEs space,” Ehimuan added.

Paylink.NG is a secure and seamless solution that helps individuals, MSMEs, religious organisations, not-for-profits, social media sellers, crowd funders, event planners, freelancers and others, to receive payments through multiple means, by sharing a customised link.


Enugu Artisan Expert

We want to partner with skilled artisans within Enugu

To become a Master Crafts Person and be part of the Enugu Skill Up Project under the ZERO interest Human Development Loans (HCDL)

Do you have experience in POP Installation? Do you want to be paid for teaching apprentices?

READ ALSO: Here are banks that pay higher interest for your savings

If YES, kindly register here: www.enuguskillers.com
To become a Master Crafts Person and be part of the Enugu Skill Up Project under the ZERO interest Human Development Loans (HCDL)

Or visit ENUGU SME CENTER at No. 2a Market Garden Avenue by Ebeano Tunnel Round-about, GRA, Enugu, for manual registration.

Ndi-Enugu, get paid while sharing your knowledge as Mastercaft Persons. We also need ‘Experts’ in the fields listed below to train apprentices and get paid!!!

Electrical Installation,
Drywall and Painting,
Solar –Inverter Installation & Maintenance,
Wallpaper Installation,
POP Installation and Wall Screeding
Concrete Construction Work, etc.

If you are interested, kindly see the registration details above.