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SMEs tasked on harnessing opportunities in nutrition funding

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The Scaling up Nutrition Business Network (SBN), a global movement focused on ending malnutrition has called on owners of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country to tap into opportunities available in nutrition funding in Nigeria.
  
The global initiative also urges Nigeria’s small businesses to collaborate and learn from each other to scale up; stressing that alternative sources of finance exist and SMEs must broaden their horizon and be investment-ready.
 
Speaking during a Masterclass on “Unlocking Investment Opportunities for Improved Nutrition”, organized in partnership with agribusiness consultants, Sahel Capital Partners & Advisory, SBN Nigeria Coordinator, Uduak Igbeka, urged entrepreneurs to embrace the vast opportunities available, while Ndidi Nwuneli, Co-founder Sahel Capital Partners & Advisory Limited, encouraged the entrepreneurs to be open-minded about new ideas they would learn in order to develop their businesses.

 
The Masterclass was organized to decry conventional funding mechanisms and how these commercial lending stifles business growth and limits the scale-up potential for expanded private sector contribution to Nigeria’s nutrition landscape.
 
Top challenges of small businesses such as access to markets, information, networks, entrepreneurship training and funding were identified. Entrepreneurs were exposed to the abundance of grants, funds and technical support available for SMEs focused on Nutrition and urged them to take advantage of the opportunities in nutrition funding.
 
Other speakers at the Masterclass include Business and Finance thought leaders from Ashoka Nigeria, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers and Cardinal Stone Capital Advisers.

Discussions and presentations revolved around themes, “Financing opportunities for SMEs in the agro-processing and nutrition landscapes”, “Investment-Readiness”, “Steps for securing funding” and “Steps for managing investment partners.”
  
Participants also applauded the maiden Masterclass and urged for similar Masterclasses in the future. Key lessons shared by participants include the importance of documentation, the importance of trust as the main currency of business, the importance of integrity when choosing business or investment partners and the need for due diligence in business transactions.    
 
Attendees also corroborated the need for innovative thinking and strategies to evolve into niche leaders as well as recognizing and establishing success milestones and the importance of separating business.


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