In a bid to grow a sustainable small and medium scale enterprise subsector in Nigeria, Tricom experimental projects limited recently partnered MTN, the largest telecommunications network in Nigeria, to host budding entrepreneurs in a capacity building workshop.
The one-day MTN SME motivational series that held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was themed ‘Creating value for SMEs in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment’. It featured incisive master classes and key presentations by leading business owners, SME operators, and other individuals from both the private and public sectors; it also provided networking opportunities for business owners and budding entrepreneurs, and featured exhibitions.
Mohammed Sharafadeen, senior manager in charge of MTN Nigeria’s SME segment marketing, said the company is focused on empowering small businesses through various capacity-building efforts, because of the important role these businesses play in stimulating the economy, and the contributions they make to general societal wellbeing.
“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, Sharafadeen said at the event. “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.”
Ladi Odukoya, founder and CEO, Vanguard pharmacy Ltd Ibadan, called on SME operators to realign their mind-sets to productive business principles and practices by being open to new ideas, consciously investing in themselves, and identifying peak periods and making the most of such.
Participants such as Yetunde Anifowoshe also expressed satisfaction with the capacity-building meeting. Anifowoshe, who is 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 pick up from where I left off.”
Another participant, Odewale Olubusayo, a fashion designer, revealed that through the program, 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.