SMEDAN, GEMS3 Partner to Ease MSMEs Development

Fri, Jun 9, 2017 | By publisher

Business Briefs

THE Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, in conjunction with the Department for International Development, DfID, UK, funded Growth and Employment in States, GEMS3, programme have developed a national framework for the accreditation of business development service, BDS, providers in Nigeria, as well as a credit information portal for micro, small and medium enterprise, MSME.

A statement signed by Ibrahim Mohammed, head, Corporate Affairs Unit, SMEDAN, noted that the accreditation framework is aimed at promoting the development of capacity, recognition and regulating the practice of business development services in Nigeria. It added that among other things, it would also lead to the establishment of a register of BDSPs which will include confirmed locations, websites and specialisations of the people behind each firm. It said this data would be available to banks, development finance institutions, microfinance institutions and MSMEs in general.

MSME sector is one of the most important sectors of the Nigerian economy. Currently, it represents 96 percent of the businesses in Nigeria and account for 75 percent of national employment. Of the 37.06 million MSMEs in Nigeria, over 36.99 million are micro-enterprises, according to NBS/SMEDAN report 2014. Growth in this sector is directly connected to growth in the economy as a whole and in the level of employment throughout Nigeria.

The statement, however, noted that this growth was not being realised and that research had revealed that there were major barriers responsible for this. The barrier, it noted, include very low access to affordable finance, poor access to business development service providers, BDSPs, lack of business experience, inadequate infrastructure and a corresponding high cost of doing business.

It said the credit information portal is a web-based platform that hopes to bridge the information barriers faced by MSMEs in accessing finance and creating new channels of engagement for micro-finance and commercial banks by providing a streamlined and simplified source of loan information for MSMEs and assisting the process of securing credit for personal and business needs.

At the launch of the accreditation framework and re-launch of the portal recently in Lagos, the statement said, it was revealed that many MSME operators have had negative experiences when they procured the services of BDSPs resulting in lack of credibility in such services.

“Although, there were several constructive activities being carried out to improve the market for such professional services, there is no uniformity or standardisation of service provision mainly due to the lack of a robust framework to regulate and standardise the activities of the BDSPs in Nigeria. The launch event also featured a demonstration of the credit information portal and an overview of the process of gaining access credit.”

—  Jun 19, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT