Leading manufacturers of trusted quality brands in Nigeria, Procter & Gamble, in partnership with FMITI and the Bank of Industry (BoI), has initiated an SME Academy program to select small and medium scale businesses in the country. The program, which was held on the 3rd of October 2019, in Ibadan Oyo State, is a follow-up to the agreement made with the Federal Government of Nigeria earlier in the year to leverage the Ministry of Industry Trade & Investment and ensure the growth of and increase in capability for SMEs across the country.
The goal of the SME Academy is to find sustainable solutions to unlock the efficiency and performance of these enterprises through advisory and skills development, as these are key constraints to the growth of SMEs in Nigeria.
According to the Managing Director of Procter & Gamble Nigeria, Adil Farhat, he stated: “The development of SMEs through capability building is a demonstration of Procter & Gamble’s commitment to transforming Nigeria’s Entrepreneurship ecosystem. When we decided to impact SMEs in Nigeria with support from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, we were interested in developing an empowering model that would accommodate as many entities as possible. Our partnership with the Bank of Industry is strategic, as they have the capacity and expertise that would accelerate this vision into sustainable realities; which aligns with our goals for this program”.
Speaking on the objectives of the program, the Regional Manager (West) of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Alhaji Kagara Ahmed said: “It is important for SMEs to focus on knowledge acquisition to optimize their people, physical resources, processes, and products/services in order to guarantee sustainable business profits. BOI is committed to the development of SMEs in Nigeria because we believe that a vibrant SME sector is critical to the transformation of the Nigerian industrial sector. The focus of today’s SME Academy is to effectively enhance the management systems of SMEs to ensure that their operational processes from initiation to completion is of quality and sustainable standards.”
Among its other objectives for the initiative, Procter & Gamble aims to provide practical guidance designed specifically for highly innovative SMEs with sustainable ambitions that are determined to turn strong, innovation towards total economic activity. The SME sector has become increasingly important to economies around the world, with a World Bank Study estimating their presence to be between 365-445 million in emerging markets. It is also the leading source of employment in Nigeria, amassing over 80% of the region’s workforce.