GIZ, others call for collaboration to drive recycling financing

The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and stakeholders in the recycling industry has urged actors across the value chains to collaborate to access adequate finance to boost their businesses.

Afolabi Olawale, advisor, LED and access to finance GIZ-SEDIN in a one day workshop on ‘Access to Finance for Value Chain Actors’ said the goal is to help MSMEs improve on their income and also to create jobs.

Olawale said GIZ-SEDIN understands the challenges of MSMEs, and have identified inadequate funding as a major challenge for small businesses, noting that the workshop was organised to expose MSMEs to available funding options.

“We saw the break in transmission and we thought that we should come in because making the market work is very important and supporting the system to understand better, the dynamics and proffer solutions,” he said.

“We also help the supply side understand the business. We try to make them come up with tailored products and not just force the general salary account concept on the market,” he further said.

“They need to understand the recycling business, the input and output demand to know how payment will be structured. So we are using this medium to bring all stakeholders together,” he added.

Sheila Ojei, director, strategy funding and stakeholder management, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) also said that there are challenges for some recyclers owing to knowledge gap and new technology.

Ojei urged plastic value chain actors to research and have a business plan as it would help determine the type of funding needed.

Ojei said plastic value chain actors can either take a loan or equity and that LSETF has various funding products that can be easily accessed.

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Also, Agharese Onaghise, secretary, Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) also said there is need to merge the formal and informal sector of recycling to ensure effectiveness.

Onaghise disclosed this while speaking on Economic Prospects of Waste Pickers in Lagos State and the need for formalisation.

She noted that problems are opportunities for entrepreneurs who can proffer solutions, while calling for the need to harmonise the industry to drive efficiency.

She added that collaboration and partnership is important and both formal and informal sector should not see themselves as competitors but collaborators.

Similarly, Ismaeel Lawal, national senior MSME development expert, GIZ-GOPA said everyone has a role to play in gaining access to funds.

Lawal said people shouldn’t just expect the government to do everything but be willing to pay the price which is adequate research on the Business Model Canvas.

The expert also said there is need to collaborate and not compete adding that healthy competition will also motivate an entrepreneur, especially from existing business owners.

“Access to finance doesn’t just come, it has to meet your readiness and preparedness.” he said.

Dayo Bello, a consultant for Waste Pickers Association said the association is presently promoting collaboration and also registration of members before coming out fully as part of the system.

Bello said the association frowns at cart pushers using the opportunity to commit crime which was why they were scrapped.

Bello said that not just anyone can walk into the dumpsite to pick waste and he urged the state government to support those that had put it upon themselves to do the task.

“Formalisation will help open doors for dialogue with policy makers and support from cooperate organisations, local and international. It will also help price control in relation to the present economy.” he said.

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