SMEDAN boss hails robust collaboration, support from Abia Govt.

Fasanya said that aside from the entrepreneurship training, the participants would be given vocational training and equipment to take off.

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has expressed satisfaction with the robust collaboration and support it is receiving from Abia Government.
The Director-General of the agency, Mr Olawale Fasanya, said this on Tuesday at the opening of a five-day workshop on the National Business Skills Development Initiative in Umuahia.
Fasanya, represented by an Assistant Director in the agency, Mrs Ime Andy, said that the workshop was taking place simultaneously in the five states of the South-East.
According to him, of the 450 entrepreneurs participating in the workshop in the zone, Abia has 90 participants.
He said that the workshop covered entrepreneurship training in fashion, welding, leather works and GSM repairs.
Fasanya said that aside from the entrepreneurship training, the participants would be given vocational training and equipment to take off.
He said that the programme was designed to improve business management practice and service provision by trained artisans as well as increased access to finance, equipment and other business resource.
Other objectives of the workshop, he said, included increase in the number of formalised artisanal businesses, improved artisanal service delivery and market support services to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The SMEDAN boss further said that the agency had begun to implement its “One Local Government One Product (OLOP)” initiative in all the 109 Senatorial Districts in the country.
He said the initiative was meant “to address the challenges confronting MSMEs in the country in a holistic manner”.
“The intervention activities under OLOP, among others, include access to workspace, equipment support, working capital and capacity building,” he said.
Fasanya said that the agency had also implemented in 22 states, the Conditional Grant Scheme, involving corporate registration of micro enterprises, provision of micro insurance and N50,000 grants to 40,000 entrepreneurs.
He also said that the agency had commenced the nationwide MSMEs Mass Registration Project toward the establishment of a credible data of MSMEs in the country.
He said that the agency was partnering with the African Centre for Global Entrpreneurial Leadership to implement its Leadership Entrpreneurial Game Show, “where successful participants would be given N5 million worth of grants and tools.
“The game show is ongoing now and all existing and potential entrepreneurs are encouraged to log on to for free registration,” Fasanya said.
He said that the agency was also collaborating with the Bank of Industry, Jaiz Bank and READ ALSO:
Sterling Bank “to implement the ‘Matching Fund Programme for Micro and Small Enterprises’ toward increasing access to finance.”
He said that the agency was set for the disbursement of the fund, after thr programme had been executed in FCT, Kaduna, Oyo, Plateau, Kano, Imo and Edo.
The Permanent Secretary, MSMEs in Abia, Mr Nkwachukwu Agonmuo, thanked SMEDAN for providing critical support for the growth and development of MSMEs in the state.
Agonmuo said that all the achievements so far made by the State Government in the development of MSMEs could not have been possible without the sustained support by the  agency.
He charged the participants to take the workshop seriously and leverage the huge opportunities offered by the agency to scale up their businesses.
Speaking with newsmen on the sideline of the event, Andy said that the agency trained 145 entrepreneurs in the state in 2021.
She said that report by the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the agency showed that they were doing well in their respective fields.
Also, some of the participants, including Donatus Amaike and Ifeoma Chukwu, thanked the agency for providing the training and support they needed to realise their dreams.
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