The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar has commended Etisalat Nigeria for its commitment to the growth and development of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
The Minister said this recently at the inauguration of the 2016 edition of Market Access Forum, organised by the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University in partnership with Etisalat Nigeria in Abuja.
Abubakar described the forum as a platform that had inspired many aspiring entrepreneurs, and provided a credible platform for learning and collaboration amongst MSMEs in Nigeria.
She added: the time to support SMEs in Nigeria could not have been more auspicious than now that the federal government is consciously making efforts to diversify from an oil economy. Certainly, this is a good omen for small and growing businesses, which constitute over 95 per cent of the Nigerian economy.”
Also, the Director, Enterprise Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Eric Uwaoma, who was represented by Bidemi Ladipo, reiterated Etisalat’s commitment to the growth of SMEs in Nigeria by continuously offering start-ups opportunities that can make them increase their capacity.
“We have supported Market Access Forum for about four years, and we will continue to offer our support. Etisalat supports initiatives like Market Access because we think it is important to show small and growing businesses how they can attain healthy growth the same way Etisalat attained its record growth. That is why we have supported initiatives like Market Access where entrepreneurs can network, and learn the secrets to run their businesses efficiently,” he said.
According to him, many entrepreneurs in Nigeria do not understand how to run a business properly. “As part of our intervention to help solve the challenges, Etisalat has been involved in different initiatives; one of them is Market Access which we have taken to different parts of the country.
“The second initiative is the EasyBusiness Millionaires Hunt, an initiative that gives SMEs, who subscribe to Etisalat EasyBusiness package the opportunity to apply for a business grant. Through this initiative Etisalat has trained 100 entrepreneurs and given businesses over N40 million in grants.”
The Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University, Mr. Peter Bamkole said the fundamental goal of Market Access Forum was to facilitate market access for Small and Growing Business (SGBs) by keying them into the value chain of large organisations.