The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Edo State government have pledged to facilitate the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state, and across the country.
The duo stated this in Benin City at the MSMEs opportunity fair 2022 themed, “Expanding market access for Nigerian MSMEs”.
Olawale Fasanya, director general of SMEDAN, said lack of access to market was one of the problems preventing MSMEs from being competitive.
Fasanya said the fair would afford prospective and existing entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their products, thereby broadening the potentials of MSMEs’ economic growth and business sustainability as well as improving access to finance and other resources required for their growth.
He added that the fair was all-inclusive and would assist in solving the challenges of MSMEs as the different enablers and business promotion bodies were on ground to interact with MSME operators and provide support.
“The MSMEs opportunity fair is a multi-sectoral exhibition aimed at promoting a wider array of goods and services that can be showcased with a view to creating a platform for entrepreneurs, especially MSMEs to interact and exchange business ideas.
“The idea of the opportunity fair is to impact MSMEs. It is a way to assist them to access market, technology, finance, networking, capacity building. If all these are put in place, it means their businesses will run better,” Fasanya said.
Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo state on his part, assured that the state will continue to pursue initiatives and programmes that will drive the development of MSMEs, stimulate productive enterprise and facilitate opportunities for deepened private sector-led development of the state’s economy.
Obaseki, while acknowledging the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in terms of access to capital, business support and barriers to market entry, said the state government have struck strategic collaboration with local and international partners to ensure the promotion of private enterprises.
According to him, there is no gainsaying that MSMEs are the engine of a thriving economy, as they remain the largest employers of labour and serve as the fulcrum for the service and productive sectors.
The governor, who was represented by Afishetu Braimoh, Edo State commissioner for industry, trade and cooperative, said the theme of the fair captures “a key element in our private sector engagement objective, which is the active deployment of expertise, resources and solutions to increase productivity.”