MSME Survival and Recovery Program to Support 80 Micro and Small Businesses in Nigeria

The Joint initiative by Citibank Nigeria Limited and TechnoServe Will Help Small Businesses Develop Long-Term Resiliency and Achieve Sustainable Growth

Lagos, Nigeria Citibank Nigeria Limited (Citi) and international non-profit organization, TechnoServe, today announced the launch of the  Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Survival and Recovery Program in Nigeria in support of entrepreneurs in Lagos who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions related to economic shocks.

According to the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) National Survey, 41 million micro-businesses and 73,000 small and medium businesses in Nigeria employ 86.3% of the total workforce and particularly important employers of young Nigerians. They also provide essential goods and services to their communities, which means they’ve taken on an increasingly important role in emergencies such as COVID-19. The businesses also provide opportunities for women: 16.8% of small businesses and 12.2% of medium enterprises are owned by women, and small businesses are a leading source of employment for women workers. 

However, MSMEs in Nigeria are highly vulnerable to shocks such as economic recession, natural disasters, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in lockdowns. This vulnerability is mainly due to lack of training and application of best practices in business and financial management, unstable supply chains, and poor access to finance, including insurance options. While large manufacturers and big businesses adopted digital tools to facilitate marketing and distribution of their products in response to COVID-19, this was not the case for micro businesses, which lack access to digital tools, digital skills, and financial capacity to digitize operations. As a result of the pandemic, businesses have faced reduced foot traffic, supply chain challenges, payroll shortfalls, limited cash flow, and an added care burden especially for women entrepreneurs.

Targeted support is needed to enable MSMEs in Nigeria to recover from recent pandemic shocks and develop long-term resiliency. The MSME Survival and Recovery Program in Nigeria is an opportunity to provide just that in a country where 53% of micro-retailers temporarily shut down their operations and 10% had laid off or suspended employees. Leveraging the ongoing work of the Pan-African Youth Entrepreneur Development program, a partnership between the Citi/Citi Foundation and TechnoServe, the new initiative will build the capacity of 80 micro and small growing businesses over the course of 9 months. 

 ‘The project aims at building MSMEs’ capacity in areas such as digital marketing and e-commerce, branding and marketing, and providing basic business management and financial literacy training, whilst showing MSMEs ways to access finance and harness supply chain support,’ said Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, MD/CEO Citibank Nigeria Limited. ‘It falls within Citi’s mission to enable progress and support livelihoods of communities around the world.

The joint initiative by Citibank Nigeria Limited and TechnoServe will help business owners navigate new challenges brought on by the protests, the pandemic, and the recession. The program will provide a blend of on-premise and virtual support sessions, with the latter delivered using WhatsApp, SMS messages, and the Talent Learning Management System (TLMS) app, a training platform developed and tailored for micro-entrepreneurs by TechnoServe. 

‘The COVID-19 pandemic and economic shocks have disrupted business for entrepreneurs across Lagos,’ said Ayokanmi Ayuba, Deputy Country Director for TechnoServe in Nigeria. ‘That’s why we’re so excited about the opportunity to not only help micro and small business owners recover, but to also help them to prepare for future challenges.’



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