NSE to Launch Initiatives to Grow Small Businesses


Nosa Alekhuogie

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is set to launch an initiative called the Growth Board, which is aimed at raising funding for Nigerian high-growth potential businesses.

Head, Primary Markets, NSE, Tony Ibeziako made this disclosure at an executive roundtable discussion held at exchange in Lagos yesterday.

According to him, the NSE is at the advanced stages of launching the Growth Board which is going to have over a 100 companies.

“The rules are currently undergoing our rule making process and is presently waiting for stakeholders’ comments. After the collation of the comments, what would happen is that we would go back to present some of those comments where necessary and present it our national council. Once that is approved, then we would have a Growth Board. We are also in partnership with the public sector and other institutions such as The World Bank, Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture amongst others,” he said.

He noted that the exchange WAs looking at the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) eco-system to understand the importance role it plays.

“Many people that are employed are employed in that space but we haven’t seen that traction when it comes to that eco system being able to access capital, and we are beginning to ask ourselves what can we do as capital market operators to begin to help businesses to move their businesses to the next level with the necessary corporate governance that is required in place and begin to expose them to the public market.

“It requires a lot of discipline, disclosures and the management or owners of the business having a paradigm shift in the way they see the business. We hope this engagement would begin to throw more light on our expectations,” Ibeziako said.

Also speaking, Partner, AO2 Law, Bidemi Olumide said: “ The Growth Board is an initiative of the NSE. We came in contact with it at a point where we were trying to raise funds for one of our businesses and also, a client of the firm and we appreciated the initiative of the exchange and decided to work with them in terms of promoting it more than what the current conception is.”

According to him, high growth businesses are species of business that require adequate care and attention in terms of capitalisation and visibility and also, reached about 20 per cent annually in terms of their growth rate. They are typically businesses that are growing faster than the economy.