Leading social innovation center, Co-Creation Hub and the Fate Foundation have urged Nigeria’s small businesses to collaborate and learn from each other to scale, stressing that aggregation of resources is the only way for effective growth for small and medium scale enterprises. This assertion was made by the representatives of these companies at the recent SME Business Clinic organized by MainOne, held at the Co-Creation Hub, Yaba.
Speaking during the event themed, #ForSmartBusiness Clinic, Director at Fate Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi who gave a presentation on “Collaboration for Growth” highlighted the Co-Creation as a successful example of how the collaboration/cluster model has worked in Nigeria and encouraged small businesses to realise their potential by leveraging personal networks to test, develop services and access new markets.
This view was corroborated by the Director General of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce, Mrs. Joyce Akpata, represented by the Chief Executive Officer of Footprints to Africa, Osita Oparaugo, who stressed that start-ups and small businesses can leverage partnerships with more established businesses rather than spending capital on unnecessary overheads. Using the analogy of a local shoe manufacturers in Aba, Oparaugo urged them to adopt technology to transform their business, creating an online sales model or leveraging partnerships with more established businesses rather than investing in CAPEX projects such as renting a warehouse in Lagos with its attendant costs.
In his comments, the Head, SME at the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Charles Anyanwu focused on the importance of entrepreneurship training and financial support for SMEs and shared financing opportunities currently available for small businesses provided by the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Convener of the #ForSmartBusiness Clinic, VAS Product Manager, Adeyemi Tanimomo decried Nigeria’s unfriendly business environment and urged for support for Nigeria’s small businesses. He identified the top challenges of small business as access to finance, markets, information, networks and productivity tools and mentioned this informed MainOne’s decision to organise the SME Clinic. According to him, technology adoption and use of productivity tools would enable small businesses to scale their businesses and announced MainOne’s promotional package solution, SME in a Box, which offers small businesses a converged solution of high-speed internet, voice services and Office Productivity tools from Microsoft, from N50, 000 monthly from June to August.
The #ForSmartBusiness Clinic saw the best small and medium business owners, techies and tech enthusiasts in Yaba and its environs, gather to gain insights from thought leaders and SME influencers in the SME ecosystem on how to drive growth and sustainability for their businesses.