Nigeria’s Small Businesses Need To Become More Than Potential


Countries and institutions have varying denitions of what classies a company as a Small or Medium Sized Enterprise (SME). The main factors considered are the number of employees and annual turnover. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) denes SMEs as economically independent companies with 11 to 300 employees and an annual turnover of between N5 million to N500 million.

In contrast, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Ofce of Advocacy classies SMEs as all enterprises with fewer than 500 employees and annual revenue of between $7 million ( N2.1 billion) to $25 million ( N7.6 billion) . In Europe, they are dened as enterprises with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million ( N18.36 billion)

The contribution of SMEs in the development of world economies is signicant both in their GDP contribution and the creation of employment. SMEs play a unique
role in the development of countries, as they constitute a major part of industrial activity in both developed and developing economies.

Studies by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) show that approximately 96% of Nigerian businesses are SMEs compared to 53% in the US and 65% in Europe.While the sector contributes only about 7% to Nigeria’s total export, SMEs contributions to total exports in economies such as China, US, UK, Mexico and India are much
higher as shown below

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