• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

SMEs need information, network to thrive— Oshoniyi

SEUN LCCI

The number of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) may be rising, but their chances of thriving in a tough environment like Nigeria is slim due to age-old challenges.

Such hiccups include poor funding, infrastructure deficit, high production cost, among others.

Seun Oshoniyi, head, membership relations, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said the problem of MSMEs dwelt more around lack of information, poor people network and inadequate access to expert advice.

Oshoniyi spoke with BusinessDay at a business information session for entrepreneurs themed ‘How to boost your business,’ hosted by the LCCI.

She said despite the myriad of challenges in the business environment, part of which was access to funding, the major problems of MSMEs were lack of necessary information and business management skills.

“The major problem MSMEs have in Nigeria is poor access to the right information that can help them grow their businesses and scale,” she said.

“Many entrepreneurs are not aware of the adequate structure they need to put in place for their business as well as the importance of technology,” she further said.

Oshoniyi explained that entrepreneurs needed competent accountants to file their books, seasoned lawyers to help them make major decisions and documentations, a board of advisors, and personnel managers to help source employees.

“If they do not have these handy professionals, there is a limit to what grants and loans can do,” Oshoniyi said.

Speaking on the funding challenge, she said a lot of MSMEs struggled to get funds in many financial institutions because they were seen as high risk investments.

She also urged the government to establish policies to help them thrive in the country.

“We need more favourable policies to create an environment whereby SMEs can thrive, and the chambers are always advocating for these SMEs,” she said.

She advised entrepreneurs to regularly engage experts and consultants before making decisions and also be knowledgeable and aware of economic and global happenings, adding that if they were properly equipped with information they would be more inclined to steer their business onto the right path.

Oshoniyi said for entrepreneurs wishing to be members of the chamber, the requirements they needed included certificate of incorporation. Companies less than five years would need to have a proof of management account for at least six months while businesses over five years would present their audited reports as well as reference letters from the bank and notary public.

She added that the chamber admitted members round the year but had its inductions twice a yea—in April and October.

Akinbo Akin-Olugbade, MD, Kawai Technologies, told the participants that evolution and innovation were key to the growth of businesses, adding that every successful business needed a team of professionals in order to avoid wrong decisions.

 

Gbemi Faminu