Attending a business pitching competition recently where originally 24 people were selected to present their ideas and business for a winner to be selected for N1million (US$2,770). Following the number of entries and quality of contestants, the organizers had to increase it to 30 contestants. Though one winner will emerge but other ideas and businesses DESPARATELY looking for funds, some of them startups looking for that small fund to move….dies. Such is the story across Africa, so much ideas, so many startups, no funds to move them and move the economy of African nations.
This is common place in Nigeria and Africa in general. Nigeria alone has over 37 million Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). These MSMEs as little as they are contribute significantly to the Economy. They also suffer in the hands of these economies (government). For lack of proper infrastructure provided by the government and inability to raise funds to pay for good stalls/office space, they operate from vulnerable locations and get clamped down every time, with a ‘lot of loss’ on their meagre resources. With a thriving young population, with universities and other higher institutions producing lots of graduates yearly, there are lots of expression in new businesses and this trend will continue for a long time.
For the startups, their major challenge is getting enough funds to start, irrespective of how enticing the idea is. While getting funds to expand is the obstacle faced by existing businesses. A Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Statistical Bulletin in 2015 exposed the fact that from 2012 to 2015 only 0.1 percent was given as loans to SMEs by the Banks. The sad part was that there has been a consistent decline from 2003.
While the Banks acknowledge the very important role of MSMEs in economic development and identifying the huge business they can get from them, their involvement in funding them remains very low. They attribute their very low funding of MSMEs to higher risk and generally the informal nature of most MSMEs lacking proper structure, accounting records, financial statements, business plans amongst others.
Another study by KPMG and Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, shows that the banks are reluctant because of the weak governance structure of MSMEs, revealing that 80 percent of MSMEs in the survey do not have a functional Board of Directors.
Our research has shown that the two biggest problems of MSMEs are Money and Structure. Over 65% of MSMEs are not structured and therefore cannot access funds.
Since 2015, we have designed an integrated solution to help MSMEs with the aim of ‘…..Making SMEs beautiful….’ Our vision is ‘To provide them with world class management of their business processes and ensure that that they do not lack funds’
This is to be achieved through our integrated solution to support them by: Structuring them and providing basic Book keeping services to get them ready for funding while also training and continuously training them.
The biggest challenge has been to get funds for profiled, structured and trained MSMEs.
This fund is being sought to:
– Provide funding for 100 new businesses, whose idea and business plan has been scrutinized by a panel to the tune of $3000 yearly.
– Provide funding for at least 1000 SMEs who have been structured, profiled and maintained their financial books for a minimum of 6 months yearly.
– Create 100 new businesses yearly that will employ several employed people.
– Expand over 1000 existing businesses that will further create thousands of jobs
– Introduce several new businesses with new products and services into the economy
– Much more
According to ISO 9001 document more than 95 percent of global enterprises are small to medium sized and no Country is an exception, making MSMEs key players in the growth and development of every economy.
Making it possible for the MSMEs to access ‘Save SMEs Project’ funding and therefore becomes a very urgent and important task. The urgent appeal is to donate $5 or more to help a million SMEs grow over a 5-year period and create over 5 million jobs in the process.
Make a pledge without a reward Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $ Rewards