The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) on Wednesday organised a capacity training for no fewer than 50 nano, micro and small business entrepreneurs in Ondo State.
Charles Odii, the Director- General of SMEDAN, made this known on Wednesday.
The disclosure was made at the opening of the training and financial empowerment initiative for rural enterprises held in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Odii pointed out that the initiative was to reinvigorate rural enterprises.
The Director-General, who was represented by Olukayode Shode, South-West Zonal Coordinator of the agency, said that the objective was to mainstream the rural enterprises into the formal sector and cushion the effects of the economic downturn on nMSMEs in Nigeria.
He explained that the Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (nMSMEs) sub-sector had historically played an important role in contributing to the economic development of many countries around the world.
According to him, the sub-sector accounts for the highest number of jobs created in the country, but it is still plagued by many challenges.
He listed the challenges to include: inadequate access to affordable funds, high cost of doing business among others
Odii stated: “So, the programme is targeted at rural enterprises in six states in each geopolitical zone of the country with 50 beneficiaries in each state.
“Ondo state, being one of the beneficiary states, we are training 50 of Nano Micro Small and Medium Enterprises and each will be empowered with the sum of N50, 000.to support and enhance their businesses.
“This is to help our rural entrepreneurs and business owners , who are at the bottom of the pyramid as a supportive mechanism to enhance rural entrepreneurship, enterprises output competitiveness, job creation and financial inclusion.
“And the most recent national nMSMEs survey of 2021 revealed that there are 39.6 million NMSMEs, employing 62.5 million persons (80.2 per cent of the labour force) and contributing 46.3 per cent and 6.21 per cent to nominal GDP and exports, respectively,
“However, the Nano enterprises constitute the highest percentage.
Akin Sowore, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative in Ondo State, who appreciated the SMEDAN, said the gesture would go a long way to add a positive effect to the economy of the state.
Sowore, who was represented by Temitope Ikuyinminu, Director of Small Scale Industry in the Ministry, said that the Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises have been the engine of economic growth of many countries of the world.
“A year ago, SMEDAN was given machinery to our people here in Ondo State and again today, SMEDAN is empowering our people, which will go a long way to assist us in the area of production,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Titilope Agboola, a livestock farmer, said that the gesture would help businesses move forward and reduce unemployment in the country.
Agboola, who was selected from Ifedore Local Government Area of the state, appealed to governments at all levels to continue to support people, especially owners of small scale businesses.
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“With this empowerment, I believe that we can absorb one or two people into our businesses and the problem of unemployment will be reduced in our society,” he said.
Also, Bukola Adebayo, from Akure South Local Government Area of the state, appreciated SMEDAN for the training and cash empowerment.
“I am overwhelmed because it came at just the right time. I plan to invest the money into my business to expand it,” she said.