West Africa’s source of premium business and financial intelligence, BusinessDay, will this week release the scorecard report of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).
It is an independent report produced by BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit(BRIU) which assessed the various programmes LSETF had implemented thus far, their impact on the beneficiaries, communities as well as the future plans for the agency.
LSETF’s beneficiaries were engaged to get their experience prior to and after they obtained support from the LSETF which came in the forms of grants, loans, office space vouchers, among others. The agency’s partners which include local, foreign non-governmental organisations as well as development finance institutions were also interacted with by the research team.
LSETF is an agency of the Lagos State Government with the mandates to address the unemployment situation in the state through regular support to small and medium enterprises(SMEs), enhancement of skills acquisitions, employability programmes, among others.
The agency offers services such as the Lagos MSME Recovery Fund, MSME Loan Programme, Lagos Innovates, Employability, and Lagos Cares with each programme specifically addressing unique challenges facing Lagosians in the employment market.
Tejumola Abisoye, LSETF’s executive secretary, said despite the challenges faced by the agency, it has been able to help a number of SMEs and individuals since inception to date.
She said: “The Fund has helped the ecosystem in a number of ways, one of which is the access to finance which we provide to nano, micro, small and medium businesses. Collaboration with the private sector by identifying where there is a dearth of skills and training young people to fill that gap.
“Providing access to infrastructure, mentorship and talent to the tech sector; and finally capacity development through our business support unit, to ensure that businesses are armed with the necessary capacity and information to empower them for growth and job creation.”
Findings by the BRIU team revealed that the agency has made significant direct impact on businesses it has supported in the forms of capacity expansion as most of the businesses now employ more workers after receiving LSETF’s support, higher revenue and could give more to the society.
Nonetheless, some of the beneficiaries wanted the agency to increase the amount the agency gives as grants and loans to beneficiaries, especially as rising inflation in Africa’s biggest economy has greatly increased the costs of equipment, raw materials and tools.
“In the medical field, the costs of modern equipment are skyrocketing, and these tools are needed to optimise the emerging opportunities in the healthcare sector. Therefore, LSETF should consider increasing the amount of grants and loans to beneficiaries,” Chineye Imo, one of the beneficiaries, told BusinessDay during the field work.