By Hamid Ayodeji
- MSMEs should approach strategically
Following the recently launched N5 billion Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme (LEAP) aimed at providing capital and economic stimulus for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by the state’s administration led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in order to tackle the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the nation’s economy and drive the nation’s efficient economic recovery; stakeholders and experts have expressed that the government should ensure it effectively leverage on existing
non-governmental platforms and organisations that consistently works to identify and engage MSMEs, maintain a database and create a system that helps business owners improve their business activities by granting them access to soft skills through workshops and seminars, whilst it encourages networking amongst the various sizes of businesses in that ecosystem.
This, they explained, would be vital towards building resilient businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted to some enterprises holding off their business activities, in order to re-strategize their business practices as they pursue sustainable development and growth of their organisations and economy of the country as a whole. While operating a diversity sensitive process for accessing this fund in order to make the selection process seamless and transparent to MSMEs in the state it would also be crucial towards achieving set goals if transparently and adequately implemented.
Commenting on the initiative in a phone interview with Business A.M. Bekeme Masade-Olowola, a member board of directors, Global Reporting Initiative and chief executive officer, CSR-in-Action, said the government needs to be as inclusive of stakeholders’ individuality as possible as it is also an opportunity to acquaint MSMEs owners with the sustainability principles of inclusion, the respect of human rights and developing local content as well as enabling the various economic sectors of the state thrive.
“On the part of entrepreneurs, it would give them more leverage and opportunities if they show professionalism, financial control, ingenuity, a clear understanding of who their stakeholders are, and their sustainability plan due to the fact that If well-resourced and managed, LEAP can yield very long-term benefits for economical transactions in the state and nation,” the CSR-in- action boss added.
Meanwhile, Adenike Adeyemi, executive director Fate Foundation whilst speaking to Business A.M exclusively advised that enterprises before engaging such campaigns need to understand the benefits it would have to their organization and strategically approach it by evaluating the positive and negative impact it could pose to their business transactions and sustainability.
In view of the devastating impact the pandemic and looting of properties and products by hoodlums, Adeyemi maintained that such intervention schemes are essential to the stimulation and recovery of businesses as they are responsible for 76 percent of the nation’s workforce; hence, making funding initiatives as this added value to the productivity of the ecosystem.
The identified high-impact sectors with substantial employment creation opportunities include industries such as education, technology, transport and logistics, healthcare, renewable energy and agriculture, which have suffered a downturn, thereby requiring interventions that seek to increase and secure employment and economic problem solutions.
With Lagos State currently contributing over 30 percent of the national GDP, the state government described LEAP as one of its efforts to lead in reversing a national economic emergency to prosperity, thereby generating increased cases of innovations and employment.