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MTN, Tricom Pledge Support for SME Growth

Nigeria’s largest telecommunications network, MTN and Tricom Experiential Projects Limited hosted SME operators and budding entrepreneurs to a capacity-building workshop.

The one-day event held in Ibadan, was themed “Creating Value for SMEs in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous Environment” and featured incisive master classes and key presentations by leading business owners, SME operators and other individuals from both the private and public sectors, networking opportunities for business owners and budding entrepreneurs and exhibitions.

Speaking at the event, Mohammed Sharafadeen, Senior Manager, SME Segment Marketing, MTN Nigeria said the company is focused on empowering small businesses through various capacity-building efforts because of the important role they play in stimulating the economy and for their contributions to general societal wellbeing.

His words, “The SME sub-sector is an integral part of the business focus of MTN. We have a structure specifically set up for SMEs, for us to bring technologies, solutions that will help them better their businesses. There are so many things that have come up now in that industry that was not there in the 90s and early 2000s that would help them perform better, if they understand this. For instance, technology in business is something that is here in our age, and the SME operators have to understand this and then find ways to filter out what is required for their business success.”

Some of the participants also expressed satisfaction with the capacity-building meeting. Yetunde Anifowoshe, a publishing assistant with Bookcraft Ltd, described it as “an-eye opener and it is also coming in good time especially because I have been in business before and had to take a break, but now I am motivated to look into myself again. It is coming handy and it is going to fill a lot of huge gap. I came to learn about SMEs and I have been really motivated”.

Another participant, Odewale Olubusayo, a fashion designer, revealed that through the programme, she had learnt how to optimize the social media to her own advantage. “I also learnt about some new skills I need to acquire as an entrepreneur,” she further stated.

Meanwhile, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) will be embarking on a statistical data upgrade of all registered SMEs operating in the country, just as it has concluded plans to participate in a SMEs exhibition in China in October where it will be showcasing made-in-Nigeria products on the international stage.

Yinka Fisher, Lagos Coordinator, SMEDAN, who made these disclosures while speaking on Creating Values for SMEs at the meeting, noted that the country’s participation in the exhibition will enable local players to “improve the quality and quantity of what the MSMEs are doing within our system here”.

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