At the recently concluded Business Day Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs event which was held on the 7th December, 2018 at the Landmark Events Centre, Lagos, experts tasked Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (‘’MSMEs’’) businesses to adopt innovation and technology tenaciously in their businesses.
Frank Aigbogun, publisher and CEO of Business Day in his welcome address stated that ‘’Business Day recognises SMEs as they constitute 90 percent of businesses in Nigeria and also contribute 48 percent to Nigeria’s GDP but these companies have been unable to secure a corresponding proportion of government backing”.
The Country Senior Partner of PwC, Uyi Akpata, also opined that ‘’SMEs that are intentional about advancing the strategic development goals of the nation are expected to thrive. According to him, some of the challenges that impede business growth & sustainability include; lack of access to credit and finance, poor financial disclosure & transparency for fear of the ‘tax-man’’. However, Uyi noted that despite the challenges encountered by MSMEs, opportunities and strategies for growth lie in the confluence where innovation and technology converge. He pointed out that only 5% of companies will actually grow unless they can; stress test their businesses using financial models frequently, critically evaluate their decisions, diversify business lines, identify limitations and use information properly.”
Furthermore, on the difficulties of doing business in Nigeria, Onyeka Akumah, Chief Executive Officer, Farmcrowdy, stated that “Life and books are a different ball game. Stay healthy, exercise and trust that you have made the right decisions. It is essential for entrepreneurs to prioritise family time as an outlet for relaxation.”
The Managing Director of NASD Plc, Bola Ajomale explained that it is essential to celebrate every success no matter how small. Keep records, have a story of your journey. He further emphasized that entrepreneurs should be humble in their valuations, keep records and refer to themselves as enterprises and not small companies”.
The Executive Vice Chairman of Signal Alliance, Collins Onuegbu explained that technology can either make or mar businesses, it is essential to harness it positively. Entrepreneurship is hard and problems are unique to all individuals but the right mindset, taking advice, willingness to fail and a credible character is essential.”
It is indeed imperative to accentuate that SMEs are the true backbone of our nation’s economy, it is therefore important for companies looking to thrive to take advantage of the brilliant ideas dished out by the experts in order for them to stay relevant and successful.