Enterprise Development & Promotions Group’s major activities areas, are as below:
- Information and Advisory Services; including sensitization and needs assessment providing basis for attitudinal changes and effective business decisions
- Business Development Service (BDS)- embracing training, counselling, sensitisation and mentoring – providing the platform for MSMEs to see themselves as players in a globalized environment
- Enterprise Linkages, Cooperation & Clustering – to stimulate international competitiveness (working with existing and prospective)
- Advocacy and other Operating Environment Issues
(I) INFORMATION AND ADVISORY SERVIICES
The unit provided information on raw materials, machinery, general business information, advisory services, sensitization, access to finance, markets and business counselling through our business clinics to a total of 968 MSMEs in the year 2010 – 2937 persons. We also continued to update our data bank on MSMEs in order to ensure an efficient information service to our clientele.
The BSCs and BICs are institutional channel for delivering SMEDAN services for growth of small Business in Nigeria. For effective monitoring and impact assessment, six zonal offices were established to monitor the BSC and BICs at each geopolitical zone.
II) BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
There are various programmes under Business Development Services
a)VOCATIONAL AND ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILL TRAINING (VEST): is a need based structure programme that involves training and counselling. After Busness Clinic sessions , training are requested and packaged by the department to meet the needs of the clients depending on their areas of interest. The duration of each of the courses was 2 weeks.
III) ENTERPRISE LINKAGES, COOPERATION AND CLUSTERING
ED & P Group carried out no visits to clusters. However information is still being sourced to assist the earlier clusters visited in the previous year under review such as access to finance, provision of common facilities, and nudging the members into formidable cooperatives/Association.
Realising the principal role of enterprise linkages, cooperation & clustering, the Agency commenced the identification of Agro and non-Agro allied clusters around the country. This renewed focus has brought a wide range of benefits to MSMEs, such as:
- Increased access to business development services;
- Realization of potentials for economies of scale and improved information flows;
- Improved access to finance and other pertinent resource/ export services.
Other potential areas of benefit the Agency foresees are:
- Pooled sourcing of raw materials;
- Equipment sharing;
- Deeper inter-firm learning and co-operation;
- Linkages of complementary skills to bid for work that would have been beyond their reach as individual units;
The Agency is also perfecting interventions aimed at moving clusters that have benefited from capacity enhancement to address the other identified gaps. Working with NERFUND and Bank of Industry, such interventions have included access to finance to expand and/or create new businesses, credit to acquire common facilities, and encouraging them to form Cooperatives/Associations where none previously existed. The above-mentioned new services are available and on-going to Rice, Cassava, Catfish, Leather, Machine Fabricators Automobile, Waste-to-Wealth, Garment, Tie and Dye, Sheabutter, Cane Weavers, and Raffia clusters.
ADVOCACY AND OPERATING ENVIRONMENT ISSUES
As the voice of the MSMES in Nigeria, the department continues its advocacy role on behalf of MSMEs. Notable activities carried out under advocacy are collaboration between the Agency and the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and BOI and other stakeholders to explore partnership possibilities in order to advance the course of MSMEs in Nigeria
Rural Finance Institution Building Programme(RUFIN) is a programme implemented by EFAD. The Agency’s position are:
- Discussion/ meetings for effective collaboration
- Signing of MOU to define and strengthen roles of organizations.
- Developing Structure & work plan to train empowered beneficiaries from RUFFIN (process is ongoing)
- Agency continued talks on a number of strategic partnerships with both public and credible private sector institutions to advance its course of operations. These include the Bank of Industry (BOI), Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), United Nationa Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the Nigeria Prisons Service, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Council for Renewable Energy of Nigeria (CREN), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI), World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Atomic Energy Commission, Ministry of Petroleum on Cooking Gas Project, Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB), National Orientation Agency (NOA), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), National Bureau of Statistics, NERFUND, First Lady’s Office, Head of Service of the Federation, etc.
ACCESS TO FINANCE
Building on the MOU signed between the Agency and National Economic Restructure Fund (NERFUND), the Group commenced referrals of application of existing/ prospective MSMEs to NERFUND for financing options. The total number of proposals sent this year is eighty four (84). We are anticipating response on the proposal forwarded to NERFUND, while other proposals are undergoing evaluation. It is important to state that emphasis is laid on the quality not quantity of the proposal. Also its being ensured that the proposal forwarded were less than the N5 million ceiling of NERFUND.