Nigeria’s most customer-friendly telecommunications company, 9mobile, held the 18th edition of its quarterly Small and Medium-scale Enterprise networking and empowerment forum, 9mobile Market Access, in Lagos on Thursday with the theme: ‘Access to Sustainable Market for SMEs: Challenges & Opportunities’, empowering scores of entrepreneurs.
9mobile Market Access, which is organized by the telco in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University, provides a platform for SME owners to interact with large corporations with the objective of sharing knowledge and strategies that can enable the growth of start-ups and small businesses.
Speaking at the event, Plato Syrimis, Director, Enterprise Segment, 9mobile said, “At 9mobile Market Access, we help to create the connection that enables you to hit the ground running with the brilliant ideas and insights that are shared. 9mobile recognises the impact of SMEs towards enabling the growth of any economy and this is why we have remained consistent in offering our assistance and support to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises through our innovative platforms and services.
“Our commitment and consistency have earned us a reputation as “Nigeria’s Most SME-friendly Company” and Market Access is just one of the many platforms through which we empower SMEs.”
Syrimis added: “Our more business proposition is focused on supporting the growth of the Nigerian economy by developing SMEs and providing innovative solutions designed to enhance their businesses. In addition, the SME Arena is an online community that is now very active with daily posts, comments and interactions with content provided by in-house contributors, merchants, and other community members. In 2016, we had 1,462 merchants on the SME Arena and this number has grown to 3,490 merchants within a short time frame.”
The keynote speaker at the forum, Eke Obiji, Executive Director, Nigerian Association of SMEs, highlighted some of the opportunities available to the Nigerian SME market and the challenges that hinder the growth of the sector.
Obiji said, “Globally, SMEs are seen as engine rooms to economic growth and Nigeria is no exception. In as much as we face severe challenges such as lack of strong patent laws to protect innovation; high-cost of doing business in Nigeria; over-regulation; and so many others, the Nigerian market also offers great opportunities such as our huge population. A country like China is utilising the benefits of their population and Nigeria should learn from this. 9mobile Market Access is laudable and I want to commend 9mobile and Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University for organising and sponsoring the forum.”
Earlier in the year, 9mobile Market Access, which has been at the forefront of empowering and supporting SMEs, was held in Enugu and Abuja, and has impacted over 7, 200 entrepreneurs, in total, across cities in Nigeria.
9mobile provides innovative enterprise solutions and platforms such as Millionaire Hunt which gives qualifying participants grants for business expansion, KwikCash which gives access to loans, 9mobile Prize for Innovation which supports innovative ideas and products that use technology to address societal challenges and 9mobile Prize for Literature, a platform that supports the writing and publishing industry, amongst others.