LCCI advocates financial support for start-ups, export simplification
With over 80 per cent of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) failing within the first five years of their existence mostly due to lack of access to credit, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the Federal Government to make credit more accessible to start ups.
According to the president, LCCI, Babatunde Ruwase, start-ups and entrepreneurs find it very tough operating in the harsh business environment, adding that apart from access to credit, they are also heavily hit by the poor infrastructure facilities.
Ruwase who was represented by the Deputy President, LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, at the LCCI mentoring programme graduation ceremony, also called on the export processes to be simplified to fast track the export of goods and services from Nigeria to its neighbouring countries.
According to the LCCI boss, the graduation marks a new dawn for the chamber as it marks the completion of the 2019 phase of its mentoring program and a new beginning for all the mentees that it has groomed from 2013 till date. He stated that in a space of seven years, the mentoring programme has groomed a total of 293 entrepreneurs.
The event also saw the Chamber launch its Mentoring Alumni Association to support the parent organization’s goals, while also strengthening the ties between alumni, the community, and the parent organization.
“Creating an engaged, supportive alumni network is crucial to an institution’s success and most especially the business community. It is important that we bring together all of our mentoring alumni to form a formidable team that can lend support to one another and thus give that competitive edge in today’s tough business environment,” he said.
He urged the mentees to see themselves as business partners who can work together to grow their respective businesses and build the nation, saying that healthy collaboration is what the nation can thrive on.
“The Chamber will always be there to lend you the necessary support. We have nominated interim officers amongst you who are temporarily overseeing the affairs of the Alumni. I enjoin you all to lend your support to them,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, Board of Best Unit, LCCI, Olawale Cole, said LCCI has continued to wax stronger in its Corporate Social Responsibility especially the development of our youth and SMEs through its Mentoring Program since it started in the year 2013, stressing that focusing on developmental initiative of the youth is a means of investing in their future thereby guaranteeing better tomorrow for the country.
“I therefore implore you, distinguished entrepreneurs who are privileged to be on this programme, to ensure that you make the best out of the opportunity. I implore you all to be good ambassadors of this programme; keep the flame gleaming and urge other entrepreneurs out there to benefit from this laudable programme,” he urged.
He added: “We had a total of 50 mentees who started this journey in March this year, but with us here today, are 43 determined entrepreneurs who painstakingly faced the hurdles to become better in their respective businesses. Though the journey seemed tough but everything that has a beginning has an end”.