NASME to launch N1bn empowerment fund in August

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Lagos, July 7, 2023 – The Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (NASME) is to launch a N1 billion youth and women investment and empowerment fund in August.

Abdulrasheed Yerima, the Chairman of the Governing Council of NASME, said that during the celebration of the 2023 International MSME Day.

Yerima said Micro Small Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria suffered numerous problems of funding, digital maturity, security, productivity, among others which had affected their efficiency, competitiveness, and growth.

He said there was still a significant gap that needed to bridge in spite of the federal government’s efforts to address some of these challenges through the implementation of financial inclusion programmes and digitalization initiatives.

“While digitalization plays a vital role, we must also address the crucial issue of funding; empowering these small businesses is essential for shaping the future of Nigeria,” he said.

Yerima promised that NASME would also organise the ECOWAS MSME Conference in November in collaboration with some collaborators.

He listed the collaborators as the ECOWAS Commission, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MFA), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC ), Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Organized Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN ), Bank of Industry (BOI), Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and other stakeholders.

Yerima said the International MSME Day was  dedicated to recognising and raising awareness about the crucial role of MSMEs as drivers of economic growth, poverty reduction, and job creation.

He said the International MSME Day also served as a platform to shed light on the challenges faced by MSMEs such as limited access to funding, quality education, technology, skill development as well as market opportunities.

Yerima said reports from the United Nations, showed that MSMEs accounted for about 90 percent of businesses globally, generating 70 percent of jobs and making substantial contributions to the global GDP.

“As NASME, we commemorate World MSME Day annually, recognizing the immense value that MSMEs bring to our nation.

“Let us continue working together to empower and uplift our MSMEs, fostering an environment where they can thrive and contribute to the growth and prosperity of Nigeria,” he said.

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