‘SMEs, crucial to economic recovery’
As the country struggles to escape recession, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been identified as a survival tool to reshape the economy, Chairperson, African Incubator Network and Centre Manager, Technology Incubation Centre, Lagos; Zonal Coordinator, South-West, Technology Incubation Centres in Nigeria, Dr. Julie Momah, has said.
To use the SMEs as the springboard for lifting the economy out of the woods, Momah advised governments and big enterprises in the country to prioritise support for the sector.
Speaking at a forum organised by Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) Plc to promote SMEs with ICT tools in Lagos, she said the success of SMEs is the success of any developing nation. If promoted, they would eventually create jobs, wealth, active commerce and develop the environment, which will help in the resuscitation of the economy.
Noting that SMEs in the country are currently contending with serious challenges, she however contended that the difficult times create good opportunities for Nigerians to think inward, and be creative. She noted that Government has put in place agencies to help the SMEs, but they are not enough as there is need to do more.
Business Development Manager, Small and Medium Enterprise Resource Planning (SMERP) Chidi Asiegbu, said for the country to move out of recession, SMEs are the primary focus to move ahead as a country saying that empowering them is one of the basic tools to strengthening the economy.
“In Nigeria today, we have a thriving pool of SMEs struggling for recognition and survival. They are yet to make any significant impact on the growth and development of the economy due to a number of challenges.
“It is on this premise that CWG Plc in line with its vision has provided an SME solution based platform to mitigate these challenges, riding on its new strategy of driving technology as a service.
The solution, ‘SMERP’ is offered as a service within the cloud solutions, which eliminates the incessantly high setup cost associated with technology acquisition.
He said SMERP enables the Small and Medium businesses have their own brands. They are able to use it to create individual online stores without going through the long phase of creating a website. They are also able to use the solution to manage the inventory of what they produce which includes the general accounting of what they sell.
Speaking on the flexibility and affordability of the solution, he said the solution is very flexible. “It is in the cloud, anybody who has an email and internet can access it. In terms of affordability, we have decided that all the SMEs coming through strategic government SMEs organisation, we would allow them use the solution free for one year, which is part of our empowerment strategy,” he said.