…says entrepreneurship education, access to finance essential to success
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has lauded the resilience of men and women across the world, who have continued to champion micro, small and medium enterprises despite poor access to finance, entrepreneurship education and other forms of support.
Obaseki gave the commendation on the occasion of the International Day for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, celebrated on June 27.
According to the governor, “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) are major arteries of economic growth that deserve the support of world leaders and development partners.
“MSMEs occupy a strategic position in our wealth creation efforts, especially in developing countries as they have continued to pull millions of people out of poverty through job creation and the provision of goods and services to communities, far flung from major cities hosting large scale companies.”
He noted that “the decision to create a separate ministry for Cooperatives, Employment and Wealth Creation in Edo State, was informed by his administration’s conviction that MSMEs need a special government agency to address their peculiar challenges, such as registration and formalisation, entrepreneurship education, access to finance, location, amongst others.”
The governor said that the goal of his administration is to grow the MSME sector alongside his commitment to attract big ticket investments, to be sited in the Benin Industrial Park, the Benin River Port project in Gelegele, the car assembly plant and the 1800 housing-unit Emotan Garden project amongst others.
Obaseki explained that “the several innovation hubs planned for the state will graduate tech entrepreneurs of the state government’s support to scale up their operations and compete on the global tech space.”
The United Nations described MSMEs as “the backbone of most economies worldwide and play a key role in developing countries.”
Using data from the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), the UN said that formal and informal Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) make up over 90% of all firms and account on average for 60-70% of total employment and 50% of GDP.
“Micro, small and medium enterprises are the first responders to societal needs. These types of enterprises are responsible for significant employment and income generation opportunities across the world and have been identified as a major driver of poverty alleviation and development.
“MSMEs tend to employ a larger share of the vulnerable sectors of the workforce, such as women, youth, and people from poorer households. MSMEs can even sometimes be the only source of employment in rural areas. As such, MSMEs as a group are the main income provider for the income distribution at the “base of the pyramid.
“According to the World Bank, there are 200 to 245 million formal and informal enterprises that do not have a loan or overdraft, but are in need of one, or do have a loan but still find access to finance as a constraint. More than 90 percent are MSMEs,” the UN said.