As the COVID-19 pandemic takes a toll on businesses across countries, the UKaid has announced an incentive package to support the growth and stability of small and medium enterprises in Africa including Nigeria.
The UK aid-funded financial inclusion organisation FSD Africa made the announcement according to a statement by FSD Africa.
With COVID-19 impacting on small and medium sized businesses in Nigeria, a new Private Equity and Private Debt Programme from FSD Africa and the Private Equity and Venture Capital Association of Nigeria will aim to improve the long-term financing available for SMEs in key sectors of Nigeria’s economy, including agriculture and healthcare, the statement said.
It said that given the significant contribution of SMEs to Nigeria’s economy, FSD Africa’s programme hopes to address the obstacles to this sector’s growth.
While quoting a report by PwC, the statement noted that SMEs in Nigeria contribute 48% of national GDP, accounting for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment.
“Long term financing options are essential to ensuring that the SME sector can continue to play a significant role in providing employment opportunities and adding value to Nigeria’s economy.
“The programme will support the development of private capital markets to help SMEs to access long-term financing through technical assistance, grants and investment capital,” the statement said.
The statement added that FSD Africa and its partners will also be conducting sessions where key players in Nigerian investment, business and regulation will be invited to provide their specialised knowledge about the local private equity and debt environment.