The need for entrepreneurs to have access to adequate business knowledge cannot be overemphasized.
According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation’s Investment and Technology Promotion Office, 80% of new small businesses in Nigeria fail within the first three years because business owners are not well equipped for the challenges they face.
In its 2020 report, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated that there are over 39 million micro, small and medium enterprises contributing over 46% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.
To ensure that more of these businesses survive beyond the three-year milestone and are sustainable, it is critical to increase access to standardized business support services.
In order to support the viability of small businesses, the Innovation Support Network (ISN), Nigeria’s national network of over 100 entrepreneurship, impact, innovation and technology hubs, has supported 20 trainers from within its network to equip entrepreneurs with business knowledge.
This two-week capacity-building project, which took place in Lagos and Abuja in February 2022, was delivered using the International Labour Organisation’s Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) course.
SIYB is an internationally recognized course that focuses on helping to establish and develop small businesses as a strategy for creating sustainable businesses and increasing employment for the youth.
The delivery of the SIYB Train-the-Trainer course is a major step in achieving outcomes of ISN’s DAFIM (Driving Access to Financial Inclusion for Microentrepreneurs) program supported by Ford Foundation.
This program aims to support 30,000 potential entrepreneurs in underserved communities across Nigeria by 2023.
Participants of the training were drawn from member hubs in the DAFIM pilot states namely Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Kogi and Ogun states who had previous enterprise development experience to ensure adequate understanding of the subjects in the SIYB training curriculum.
The trainers participated in modules covering generation of business ideas, marketing, costing, developing business plans and how to access credit for their businesses.
By extension, these modules would be stepped down to the new and existing entrepreneurs within target communities of women, at-risk youth and persons living with disabilities in the DAFIM pilot states in order to ensure they are able to build structured and sustainable businesses, with improved access to finance and credit for accelerated business growth, that will create employment and contribute to Nigeria’s economy.
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