As entrepreneurs in Nigeria, we understand the challenges and opportunities that come with running our own businesses. Today, we stand at the threshold of a game-changing moment – the promised initiatives to empower Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and boost the manufacturing sector in our beloved country. These are the initiatives, an excerpt from President Tinubu’s speech:
“Our administration recognises the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the informal sector as drivers of growth. We are going to energise this very important sector with ₦125 billion. Out of the sum, we will spend ₦50 billion on Conditional Grant to 1 million Nano businesses between July 2023 and March 2024. Our target is to give ₦50,000 each to 1,300 Nano business owners in each of the 774 local governments across the country. Ultimately, this programme will further drive financial inclusion by onboarding beneficiaries into the formal banking system. In like manner, we will fund 100,000 MSMEs and start-ups with ₦75 billion. Under this scheme, each enterprise promoter will be able to get between ₦500,000 to ₦1 Million at 9% interest per annum and a repayment period of 36 months...”
This is not just a mere promise; it is a call to action. An invitation to unleash the potential of our businesses and seize the golden empowerment initiatives for MSMEs that lie ahead. The government is committed to supporting us in our quest for growth and success, and we must capitalise on these initiatives to drive our businesses and the nation forward.
To take full advantage of the promised empowerment initiatives for MSMEs and boost the manufacturing sector in Nigeria, business owners should proactively engage in the following actions:
1. Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated with the latest government policies, incentives, and programmes aimed at supporting MSMEs and the manufacturing sector. Regularly visit official government websites, attend seminars, and subscribe to relevant websites like msmehub.org, Businessday NG and so on to stay informed.
2. Organise your bookkeeping and accounting system effectively: Bookkeeping entails recording transactions, while accounting involves using records kept over a period of time in measuring, processing, and sharing financial and other information about businesses and corporations.
Seeking guidance from a professional will aid in selecting and implementing a dependable accounting software tailored to your business needs.
By organising your bookkeeping and accounting system effectively, you will have a clear picture of your business’s financial position, make informed decisions, and streamline financial processes for greater success.
3. Embrace Technology: Integrate modern technology and digital solutions into your business operations. Utilize e-commerce platforms, automation, and other digital tools to improve efficiency and expand your market reach.
4. Network and Collaborate: Engage with other business owners, industry associations, and chambers of commerce. Collaborating with peers can open doors to new opportunities, share best practices, and create a collective voice for advocating business-friendly policies.
5. Access Finance and Grants: Explore available financing options and grants provided by the government for MSMEs. Approach banks and financial institutions for specialised loan schemes and seek expert advice on accessing these funds. For example, Guaranty Trust Bank provides smart financing options for your business that allows your organisation to build on its success and plan for growth.
6. Stay Compliant: Ensure that your business complies with all regulatory requirements and quality standards in your industry. Maintaining good compliance records will improve your chances of benefiting from government incentives and support. Pay your taxes as and when due.
7. Monitor Policy Changes: Be aware of any changes in government policies that could impact your business. Follow government officials on social media, read newspapers, business journals, and policy reports regularly. Adapt and adjust your strategies accordingly to align with the evolving regulatory landscape.
In summary, by adopting these proactive measures, business owners can position themselves to leverage the promised initiatives and drive their businesses towards growth and success in Nigeria’s thriving MSME and manufacturing ecosystem.