MTN Nigeria and Microsoft Nigeria have both agreed to support small and medium scale enterprises in the country. MTN Nigeria, a leading communication giant in the country signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the technology giant, Microsoft Nigeria as part of their plans to invest in the country’s economy.

The agreement will see both organizations collaborate together on the “creation of sustainable and scalable initiatives” targeted at developing entrepreneurs who operate small and medium scale enterprise in the country. It was signed during an official ceremony at Microsoft Nigeria office in Lagos and was witnessed by top officials of both organizations.

The collaborative effort will also see the development of SMEs through harnessing Microsoft technological innovations and MTN’s innovative expertise to create strong value propositions for SMEs segments in the country.

Mr Akin Banuso, Country General Manager, Microsoft Nigeria restate his organization plan to transform SMEs and help expand their business in this technological era. He explained that the partnership will afford them the opportunity to work with SMEs and find a solution to the challenges they are faced with.

“Our approach at Microsoft has been one of empowerment and collaboration. We work with SMEs and as we learn from them, this makes us poised to provide tailor-made solutions to the challenges they face on a daily basis. We are excited about this partnership and looking forward to providing support to the SMEs through the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative,” he said during the ceremony in Lekki, Lagos.”

“This means that we are able to empower them to digitally transform their businesses and be more productive and competitive.” 

In the same vein, Ms Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka, General Manager, enterprising marketing, MTN Nigeria also reiterated her company’s commitment to the development of the entrepreneurs, large businesses, public sector and SMEs across the country. This, she said prompted the company to search for partners in actualizing this vision.

“We launched the MTN Man-In-The-Box Initiative to further demonstrate our commitment to the development of businesses and ensure their sustained business growth,” she said while addressing the press in Lagos.

Perfect timing 

In recent times, Nigerian SMEs still battle with challenges such as inadequate access to credit facilities. Stakeholders and major players in the country have called for massive support of SMEs in the country because of its significance to the economy.

The importance of SMEs cannot be underestimated in the growth of the country. According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria have contributed about 48% of the national GDP in the last five years. Thus, a lot more effort should be geared towards rescuing SMEs from collapse due to poor funding.

This development will consolidate previous efforts by different institutions to support operators. Last month, the Managing Director of Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr. Abba Bello said the bank is now partnering with trade facilitating institutions namely Afreximbank and FCI, under the auspices of the CBN FSS 2020, to develop and promote factoring as an alternative trade finance instrument and a Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) financial inclusion strategy.

With all fingers pointing to inadequate funding as the major obstruction to the success of SMEs, many believe the elimination of the enigma will mean a lot to SMEs in Nigeria. This was also made known by Head, SMEs Policy, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Ben Barauch while giving report of the organization findings last month. He called on the federal government to equip business owners with financial literacy skills that would enhance their capacity and ability to access external finance and help them in running their businesses effectively.

Undoubtedly, the pooling together of resources by these multinational organizations shows their commitment to building the country’s economy with a resultant increase in Nigeria’s GDP. It will also give rise to productivity and increase the profit of some of many local manufacturers in the country.

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