• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Limited access to finance and regulatory hurdles limiting SMEs in Nigeria – Adebiyi

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Henry Adebiyi, founder of Hetom Innovations Ltd, whose company is into software & hardware development in this interview with REMI FEYISIPO, speaks on current economic situation of the country, on how government can enhance food production and farming, role Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can play to grow the economy, among others. Excerpts:

Nigerians are passing through tough times presently and battling inflation. What measures do yout hink will calm this situation?

Amidst the prevailing economic challenges in Nigeria, especially the ongoing battle against inflation, I envision proactive government measures to address the situation. Anticipating a comprehensive approach, I expect potential implementations of targeted economic policies, fiscal strategies, and collaborative initiatives with the private sector. The goal is to stabilise the economy, alleviate financial burdens on citizens, and foster a more resilient and sustainable economic environment. Hetom Innovations expresses hope for positive outcomes, standing ready to support and adapt to the evolving economic landscape.

What do you think government should do to alleviate the suffering of the masses especially concerning food and hardship?

The government can alleviate the suffering of the masses by implementing a comprehensive strategy that includes short-term relief and long-term systemic changes. This involves targeted food subsidies, cash transfer programs, and price controls to ease immediate hardships.

Additionally, investing in agriculture, creating job opportunities, strengthening social welfare, and improving education and healthcare access contribute to sustainable solutions. Anti-corruption measures and collaboration with NGOs and the private sector are essential for effective implementation. This multifaceted approach addresses the diverse challenges faced by the population, emphasizing both immediate relief and long-term resilience.

What advise will you give government to boost food production and farming?

To enhance food production and farming, the government should invest in vital infrastructure, provide accessible credit, encourage technology adoption, and support research for resilient crops. Strengthening training programs, ensuring market access, and addressing land tenure issues are crucial. Diversification, efficient water management, and collaboration with the private sector are essential. Incentives for sustainable practices and climate-resilient strategies will contribute to a robust agricultural sector, benefitting farmers and ensuring food security.

What are the key challenges and opportunities that young people face today?

In today’s dynamic landscape, young people face challenges like unemployment, limited access to education, and healthcare disparities. However, technology innovation provides opportunities to address these issues. It can combat unemployment by creating industries and fostering entrepreneurship. Digital platforms and e-learning tools revolutionise education accessibility, and health tech solutions bridge healthcare gaps, especially in remote areas.

Technology contributes sustainable solutions for climate change, promotes social justice, and offers a global platform for advocacy.

Opportunities include fueling entrepreneurship, enabling global connectivity, and providing flexible job opportunities through remote work.

Technology hubs nurture young innovators, online platforms support continuous skill development, and fintech innovations ensure financial inclusion. Overall, technology innovation offers myriad opportunities for young people to thrive in an ever-evolving world, emphasizing the need to strategically harness these advancements.

How can technopreneurship and technopreneurs be promoted because presently they are needed to catalyse development in all facet of the nation’s economy?

Promoting technopreneurship is essential for catalyzing comprehensive economic development. Strategies include integrating tech courses in education, establishing innovation hubs, facilitating funding access, creating supportive policies, fostering industry-academial collaboration, and building a robust digital infrastructure. Additionally, government support programs, global exposure, and a focus on emerging technologies are vital. By cultivating an entrepreneurial ecosystem and encouraging networking, nations can empower technopreneurs to drive innovation and contribute significantly to economic growth.

Do you align with fact that Entrepreneurship, plays a critical role in reducing unemployment and poverty in Nigeria?

Entrepreneurship serves as a pivotal force in addressing unemployment and poverty in Nigeria.

By creating job opportunities, driving economic growth, and fostering innovation, entrepreneurs play a crucial role in transforming communities and individuals. The diverse impact of entrepreneurial activities includes wealth generation, skills development, and community reinvestment, contributing to a more resilient and prosperous society. Encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship through conducive policies and a nurturing ecosystem is essential for sustained economic development and poverty alleviation in Nigeria.

What role can SMEs play in economic development?

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of any economy, because presently in Nigeria they constitute over 90percent of businesses and employing over 70percent of the workforce.

This vibrant SME sector is crucial for economic resilience, diversification, and job creation. The prevalence of SMEs reflects a culture of entrepreneurship, contributing to economic dynamism, innovation, and local community  development. However, challenges such as limited access to finance and regulatory hurdles persist. Recognising and addressing these challenges is vital to unleash the full potential of SMEs, fostering sustained economic growth, global competitiveness, and prosperity for the nation.

What’s your company into and what informed the establishment of Hetom Innovations Ltd?

Hetom Innovations Ltd is a technology company specialising in software solutions, web applications, and mobile technology. We have expanded into hardware manufacturing, focusing on smart home and green energy products through our subsidiary, Powerpack SmartTech. Their range includes sustainable smart switches, sockets, bulbs, and more, reflecting a commitment to a circular economy. Founded with a vision to redefine software and hardware development, Hetom aims to innovate in technology, particularly in software, smart home automation and green energy solutions. The company prioritizes local manufacturing and contributes to a greener, more self-reliant future, aligning with a global technological advancement mission.

In what ways does Hetom Innovations offer new opportunities and solutions for emerging markets?

Hetom Innovations Ltd stands out for its holistic impact on emerging markets, introducing innovative technology, promoting sustainability, creating jobs through local manufacturing, providing affordable housing, and actively engaging with communities for a comprehensive and positive transformation.

Hetom Innovations Ltd is reshaping emerging markets with its cutting-edge software and hardware solutions, fostering economic growth by enhancing efficiency and connectivity. The focus on smart home and green energy products meets the demand for sustainability in developing energy infrastructures, creating a ripple effect in job creation and economic self-reliance through local manufacturing.

Initiatives like Hetom Homes & Apartments address the critical need for affordable housing, particularly for low-income workers, contributing not only to housing solutions but also job opportunities. The company’s community engagement programs, in collaboration with sporting organizations and the

Hetom Innovations Foundation, underscore its commitment to social causes and local development, creating a positive impact beyond technology.

In its pursuit of global expansion and partnerships, Hetom Innovations seeks to bring in expertise and resources from developed markets, fostering knowledge exchange and contributing to the overall development of the local tech ecosystem.

How is your company uplifting the youths in terms of entrepreneurship?

Hetom Innovations Ltd is actively promoting youth entrepreneurship through a comprehensive strategy. The company organises training programs, workshops, and seminars to equip young entrepreneurs with essential skills in the technology industry. Internship opportunities offer practical experience, while support for startup incubators creates a nurturing environment for idea development. Collaborations with educational institutions and community outreach programs inspire creativity and innovation. Financial support in the form of grants and seed funding empowers promising youth-led startups, and networking events provide valuable connections with professionals, collaborators, and investors. In summary, Hetom Innovations is dedicated to fostering innovation and empowering the next generation of tech leaders through a multifaceted approach to youth entrepreneurship support Nigerians are passing through tough times presently and battling inflation.