SMEDAN boosts MSMEs with provision of workspace to young business owners
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has begun provision of workspace for the young business owners in a boost for small businesses burdened by an inability to afford decent office space.
The move is targeted at reducing unemployment rate which rose to a six year high of 23 percent in the third quarter of 2018, and to improve economic productivity.
The provision of workspace to the young business owners was initiated under the Young Business Owners in Nigeria (Y-BON) as part of Federal Government economic policies to empower business owners between the ages of 20 and 45 with a view to reducing unemployment and improving on the self dependence among the youths.
Speaking at the sensitization programme held for the Young Business Owners in Nigeria (Y-BON) in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, Dikko Radda, Director General of SMEDAN, declared that the programme was initiated to reduce unemployment and increase working hours of Nigerians as well as contribute immensely to gross domestic product through the provision of conducive workspace for the entrepreneurs.
Radda, represented by Ime Etop-Andy, Asst. Director, Enterprises Development and Promotion Department, stated that the programme started in 2018 with the provision of workspace for a total of 460 young business owners in Anambra, Kebbi, Kogi, Cross River and Osun States, adding that three States including Ogun, Bayelsa and Kaduna, have been selected for such an empowerment in this year.
He said, “It is towards addressing the economic challenges that Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has initiated the Young Business Owners in Nigeria (Y-BON).
“It is designed to provide a platform where existing entrepreneurs either as stand alone or cooperative societies will be comparatively selected for further supports. The support package is aimed at reducing some of the fundamental challenges that usually confront MSMEs.
“Essentially, the target beneficiaries are young people between the ages of 20 and 45. The focus on this target is because of the need to create new opportunities for employment and enterprises growth which are usually not easily realizable in start-ups.
“It may interest you to know that in 2018, a total of 460 business owners were supported with workspace in the following States – Anambra (80); Kebbi (80); Kogi (100); Cross River (100) and Osun (100). For 2019, three States have been selected as beneficiaries of the programme. They are Bayelsa, Ogun and Kaduna States and this sensitization programme is running concurrently in the three.”
Also, Gbenga Ogundeji, the South West Zonal Coordinator for SMEDAN, said the programme was to assist young persons to be their own bosses and at the same time create job opportunities for other job seekers, adding that the sensitisation programme is the first stage in Ogun State with a gathering of 200 people – 100 participants drawn in Abeokuta 100 selected from 100 Sagamu axis of the state.
Ogundeji, who disclosed that a total of 100 participants would be selected at the end of the programme in Ogun State for empowerment, said, “We have also identified that majority of them don’t even have workspace and we believe that we can start from there by supporting them with workspace which will help a lot of them to commerce their business and start off from there.”
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta
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