UNIDO Partners NACCIMA, LCCI on SME Empowerment


. Prepares 40 women entrepreneurs for bankable projects

The Investment and Technology Promotion Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has launched another phase of its capacity building programme by training over 40 Nigerian women in financial literacy, in Lagos.

The financial literacy project, which was in collaboration with the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was initiated to equip the business owners with interactive online learning packages, financial literacy tools and major mechanisms for upgrading and expanding existing enterprises.

The Chief Technical Adviser, UNIDO-ITPO, Mr. Stanislaw Pigon, said: “Aside from the training, we will also offer the entrepreneurs business counseling and mentoring programmes aimed at facilitating enterprise growth. Our online tools are open to the entrepreneurs as they are expected to ask questions or seek for clarifications. From the perspective of the MSMEs, the most important factor is that they are ‘bank-ready’. This means we need to offer them some simpler tools to present the financial aspects of their business ideas.

“We are facing a problem of financial literacy, starting with university graduates, who cannot find jobs, to existing, even successful Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which cannot find resources to grow.”

The Head, UNIDO-ITPO, Nigeria, Ms. Adebisi Olumodimu, explained that the workshop was designed to support the Federal Government in its bid to diversify the economy, empower business owners, especially women, across the agriculture, manufacturing, and food and beverages sectors and ensure they are equipped with best practices tools for the development of value-added services.

She said: “It is time for Nigerian women entrepreneurs to explore vast opportunities in the non-oil sector, especially with the dwindling fortunes of crude oil in the global market. Our focus for now is on women because we discovered that most women investors do not have the desired skill and knowledge of enterprise development.

“That is the reason we are training entrepreneurs and government agencies because they are the ones that will train others and we will use locally to develop the nation’s MSME sector.”
The UNIDO-ITPO Nigeria boss assured that the global development institution would continue to facilitate investment flows and technology transfer between the institution and Nigerian entrepreneurs to promote inclusive growth and create wealth in the largest black nation.

On her part, the Managing Director, Ideal Farms limited, Mrs. Bosun Solarin, described the training as timely and much needed for Nigerian women entrepreneurs, who, most of the time, had failed to build a proper accounting system, to grow their businesses.
“Most Nigerian women have great business ideas and have built great institutions over the years but have failed to build the much required international standard accounting system because they are financially illiterate, she said.

She added: “As some of us fail to manage the little resources we have and lack financial structure banks look out for, we blame our failures on either the state of the Nigerian economy or financial institutions. But with this training, we have learnt that every kobo counts and that there must be proper bookkeeping as that is the only way to meet the requirement of local and foreign banks.”