The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has introduced a conditional grant scheme aimed at empowering small businesses to become employers of labor, with the condition that recipients hire at least one person. This initiative was unveiled during the inauguration of SMEDAN’s headquarters in Abuja, as per a statement released by the agency on Wednesday.
According to SMEDAN, the scheme is tailored to bolster SMEs by providing grants, thereby enhancing access to finance and addressing the challenges of unemployment. The agency highlighted that this effort aligns with its objective of facilitating the growth of micro and nano-enterprises, ensuring their capability to scale and contribute significantly to the nation’s economic progress.
Minister Doris Uzoka-Anite, overseeing the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, hailed the conditional grant scheme as a strategic intervention designed to financially support deserving nano and micro-enterprises. She emphasized the importance of these enterprises in contributing meaningfully to the nation’s economic prosperity.
The newly inaugurated headquarters of SMEDAN reportedly houses innovative work hubs and common facility centers equipped with cutting-edge technological tools, industrial sewing machines, and woodwork machinery.
Vice President Kashim Shettima praised SMEDAN for its role in advancing economic development through empowering MSMEs. He underscored President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s commitment to fostering an enabling environment for small businesses, highlighting the significance of technological advancements in boosting productivity and competitiveness.
Charles Odii, the Director-General of SMEDAN, emphasized the agency’s objective of offering discounted access to these facilities, specifically tailored to empower small business owners. He highlighted that this initiative aims to enhance production quality, fostering growth and sustainability within the MSME sector. Odii reaffirmed SMEDAN’s mission to support MSME growth by facilitating access to necessary resources such as finance, markets, and capacity building.
The event witnessed the presence of other dignitaries, including Ayodele Olawande, Minister of State for Youth; Adenigba Fadahunsi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Industries; and Mansur Soro, Chairman of the House Committee on SMEs.