UK Grant For SMEs In Vulnerable Supply Chains

The government of the United Kingdom has launched a fund for businesses in 32 countries, including Nigeria.

The Covid-19 Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility (CVSCF) will provide grants of between 200,000 and 600,000 pounds sterling per application, to help businesses in agriculture and garment manufacturing in coping with the economic impact of Covid-19.

To apply for this round of the funding, which may be repeated, a business must submit a concept, using the CVSCF template, before or by 5 pm GMT, May 20, 2020.

Applications are welcome from businesses facing industry challenges and looking for advisory/ facilitation support; businesses looking to support the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable workers and suppliers in their supply chains; not-for-profit organisations supporting multinational companies and small and medium enterprises and their suppliers in specific sectors/ geographies;  not-for-profit organisations supporting transparency and accountability mechanisms within and across specific supply chains; and not-for-profit organisations supporting informal workers and smallholder farmers that are part of global supply chains.

Applications should be submitted at http://COVID19vulnerablesupplychains@dfid.gov.uk

Request for proposal obtainable at https://cms.trade.great.gov.uk/documents/74/COVID-19_Vulnerable_Supply_Chains_Facility_-_Request_for_Proposals.pdf 

Exporters Seek N70bn For Export Grant In 2020

Export Business Grants

The Organised Private Sector Exporters Association (OPEXA) has asked that the federal government to appropriate N70 billion in the 2020 budget for Export Expansion Grant (EEG).

Mr Jaiyeola Olanrewaju the Executive Secretary of OPEXA, in a statement relased in Abuja, said that the budgetary provision would make up for the consistent shortfall in EEG payments since its reintroduction in 2017.

Criticizing the persistent inadequate disbursements of the new EEG by the implementing agencies since the scheme was reintroduced as incentive to ensure exporters’ competitiveness in the international market, Olanrewaju said,

“We reiterate our concern at the meagre budgetary allocations and lack of proper implementation by the implementing agencies such as ministries of industry, trade and investment, finance, national planning and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

An annual budget provision of not less than N60 to N70 billion will suffice to meet policy commitments as stated in NEPC estimates and prevailing reports

“The government agencies and CBN have real time data on which realistic projections can be made,” he said.

OPEXA revealed that the 2017 budgetary allocation of N16 billion was not implemented and out of the 2018 allocation of N13. 28 billion, only N4 billion was paid in June 2019, leaving a balance of N9.28 billion.

The 2017 budgetary allocation of N16 billion was not implemented and out of the 2018 allocation of N13. 28 billion, only N4 billion was paid in June 2019, leaving a balance of N9.28 billion as revealed by OPEXA.

50 Start-Ups Receive Grants Worth N10 Million From Lafarge

50 youth-led start-ups in their host communities in Cross River have received grants worth N10 million from Lafarge Africa Plc.

Lafarge Africa Plc which is a cement manufacturer and building materials company, partnered with Cuso International, a non-profit development organisation in giving out the grants to the beneficiaries

32 females and 18 males were selected from a pool of 200 applicants as the beneficiaries of the grants and they hail from Akamkpa, Akpabuyo, Calabar Municipality and Calabar South local government areas of Cross River.

David Brown, Lafarge Africa’s Plant Manager, said the grants were provided with the aim of encouraging entrepreneurship and reducing unemployment.

The grants provided will enable the beneficiaries establish businesses in fishery, poultry, oil palm processing, renewable energy and cassava processing.

70 SMEs To Be Given Access To Credit from Shop And Play

access to credit

Shop and Play is a quarterly event designed to increase client base and access to credit for Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs)

The event will support 70 SMEs in the next edition.

Mrs Fayi Adurogbangba was the lead organiser of the event. She said, the event first gave support to 26 SMEs and increased to 40.

Adurogbangba said that the aim of the event was to give visibility and increase client base for SMEs.

Adurogbangba said that the event was being supported by Polaris, Airtel, Domino, Agricos, among other sponsors.

Mrs Serah Akogwu, the CEO of Rishas Concept – an enterprise that deals majorly in baby wears – said that the event created opportunity for SMEs to meet new customers.

She recommended more publicity and support for the event to enable it reach more SMEs that would grow the economy.

Two Tech Startups Emerge Winners Of Heirtage Bank’s N15m Grant

Heritage Bank Grant, Medical Equipment Importers, Heritage Bank Nigeria

Heritage Bank Plc has given out grants worth N15m to winners of the maiden edition of HB Innovative Lab.

The maiden edition of Heritage Bank Innovation Lab Accelerator programme was a 12-week programme which held in Lagos, tagged ‘Demo Day’.

This was part of Heritage Bank’s efforts to support Nigeria’s aspiration and roadmap to become a leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub in Africa,

The programme sought to provide technology start-ups seeking additional investments. This will help them progress and accelerate market introduction/adoption of their solutions. And also provide co-working and Internet resources, guidance and mentorship and seed funding.

Heritage Bank’s commitment is to create enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions with the potential to radically improve financial Inclusion/Intermediation, health, automobile, agriculture, and other related problems affecting critical sectors of the economy.

The grand finale of the programme comprised of seven groups. Trep Labs-Real Drip emerged the winner with the most compelling solution and won N10m. Ladipomarket.com.ng won the N5m prize, as the first runner-up, which was equivalent of $40,000.

Ifie Sekibo, is the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank. Speaking at the event said Heritage Bank knew it was in the best interest of the country to pay attention to the development to the technology and industrial sector.

Ifie Sekibo added, “The future of the country lies in the hands of its youth. Nigerian youths are talented. Heritage Bank is committed to harnessing this talent to grow the economy.”

SMEs To Benefit From SEL Capital’s N2bn Fund

Fundings for Small Business, support to SMEs

SEL Capital is a multi faceted financial services company in Nigeria. The company offers tailored financial services and solutions to individuals, companies and the public sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of SEL Capital Limited, Mr Segun Opaleye, in an interview, spoke about how the company’s goal is to support every SME across sectors.

Opaleye said that SEL Capital helps SMEs to establish Letters of Credit. It also helps to fund their purchasing orders and support their treasury management needs.

“What we also usually do for them is to start them off with advisory services. We help them to understand exactly how the business should be structured for easy access to capital. We try as much as possible to help them create a structure that clears the usual doubts about SMEs”.

“Although everybody talks about providing support to SMEs, but the question is: are you really giving them the solutions that set them apart from the pack? First and foremost, you have to get them to the point where the structure supports transparency, good governance and sustainable business. And that is what we are doing; guiding them through the process, and helping them to fund and grow their businesses.

At SEL Capital, we support SMEs and help entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses, and make them more bankable.” Opaleye added.

“If we understand what you are doing as a business, then the question is: is it in a sustainable/ bankable state that equity investors or lenders will be comfortable to fund the business? So, we guide you through the process to ensure you get the needed support”, Opaleye said.

SEL Capital is planning to float a N2bn SMEs Fund as part of it financial inclusion strategic drive. Starting with tranche one of N1bn, which is expected to close within the third quarter of this year.

Afdb Announces $3.39m Fund For 17 African SMEs In The Agricultural Sector

Fund, funding, funds, Investment, Investments

The African Development Bank is the host of the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT). Recently, the AFT announced $3.39million funding for 17 new African Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural sector.

The African Development Bank recently announced the funding it’s providing in Accra, Ghana. This funding will be in support of SMEs in the agribusiness sector in eight African countries.

Firstly, four SMEs in Ghana, four in Tanzania, and four in Burkina Faso, are to benefit from this fund. Another two in Malawi, two in Mozambique, one in Ethiopia, one in Nigeria and one in Senegal will also benefit.

This funding is a part and result of the Agricultural Fast Track Fund’s transformative agenda for food security, income enhancement and job creation. It also aims at improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Africa.

The Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department of the AFDB has administered the AFT since inception. Over time, it has approved 36 grant projects, which are mostly private-sector sponsored agribusiness SMEs.

Jonas Chianu said the fund finances the project development cost of a broad range of agriculture infrastructure. These projects span the entire value chain, from production to the market.

“Target projects range from rural feeder roads to irrigation, agro-processing and marketing facilities, and out-grower schemes,” Chianu added.

Similarly, the AfDB’s Country Manager for Ghana has said that the development of agribusiness is one of the bank’s priorities in Africa.

“Relatively low productivity, under-utilised agricultural land, infrastructural deficiency and lost opportunities for value addition have perpetuated poverty and food insecurity in the continent. The emerging wide-reaching food shortages have led to food crises and restiveness in many regions.” Baldeh said.

Also, you can click here to read more about funding for your business.

Six Nigerian Fintechs Win N2m Grants At EFInA Financial Inclusion Conference

Small business grants

The United Kingdom’s Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) held a financial services conference recently. The conference was titled ‘Powering Financial Inclusion Through Fin-tech’, and it took place at the ZoneTech Park in Gbagada, Lagos.

Dayo Ademola gave an overview of the Nigerian fin-tech landscape. He also talked about their business concerns and the strategic partners who are helping them attain their objectives.

Stephen Ambore – head of Digital Financial Services at the CBN – spoke and highlighted the role of the banking regulator in improving financial inclusion. According to him, the CBN has done quite a lot to deepen financial penetration.

Financial inclusion today is a big deal. Statistics show that over 36 percent of Nigerians lacks access to basic financial services. Furthermore, millions of others with banking services are getting access to less financial services offerings than they should.

“There’s a commitment from the CBN to increase the number of financially included people from 48% to 83% by 2020,” Ambore said. However, he noted that there are rules and regulations that still hinder fin-techs from fully thriving.

The EFInA fintech conference gave grants to a few fin-techs for displaying impressive “quality & creativity” with their products.

Startups like Social Lender, Riby Finance, and Capricorn Digital collectively won a $2 million grant under the growth stage category. Also, CredPal, Extramile Africa and SmartTeller collectively won another $2 million grant under the startup category.

According to EFInA, these companies have built and are working to grow solutions to improve financial inclusion among low-income earners in Nigeria.

British Government Supports Nigerian Entrepreneurs With Grants, Partnerships

Grants, Grant

British Government Supports Nigerian Entrepreneurs With Grants, Partnerships

About 10 Nigerian entrepreneurs in the fashion and film industries are benefiting from the Nigeria Creative Enterprise Support Programme.

The programme is a collaborative effort of four UK and Nigerian partners; Afrinolly (Nigeria) and Henley Business School (UK) for the film sector. Also, The Assembly Innovation Hub and Fashion Foundry (Cultural Enterprise Office, UK).

Hence, a total of 108 entrepreneurs trained between January and March 2019.

Ten entrepreneurs each emerged from the film and fashion categories after the training.

The entrepreneurs then pitched their business ideas before a panel of seasoned professionals in the industries who selected the best five entrepreneurs from each category.

Winners of the pitches received start-up grants of N950,000 each, while two entrepreneurs each from both categories received one thousand pounds for business investment.

All 10 will continue to the business advisory component of the programme which offers training and mentoring activities from hub organisations in Nigeria. Even more, they will enjoy a UK tour hosted by UK fashion and film partners.

Country director of the British Council, Lucy Pearson, who was on the panel said:

“The creativity and originality of the ideas in Nigeria are great. There is potential in Nigeria and we are happy about being able to unlock the potential.”

To read more, visit www.smefinance.org

Keystone Bank Initiates MSME Challenge

MSME

Keystone Bank’s MSME Challenge

 

Ten Nigerian entrepreneurs have been empowered by the maiden edition of Keystone Bank’s “Growing in Love with MSMEs Challenge” scheme.

Above all, this initiative upholds the Bank’s commitment to promote and support the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria

The “Growing in Love with MSMEs Challenge” scheme is open to all MSMEs across Nigeria. Consequently, it is not limited to just Keystone Bank customers.

Also, the scheme offers a high-performance business a grant of N50,000 grant for expansion and consolidation of its operations.

Similarly, Mr. Abubakar Danlami Sule, Acting Managing Director of Keystone Bank Limited, said:  “With over 15million SMEs dotting the Nigerian landscape, we are poised to ensure our customers in this segment actively grow their businesses through our partnerships and focused initiatives in the segment”

Furthermore, he added: “We shall continue to partner with the government and other developmental agencies in making intervention funds available to the segment.”

According to Sule, the Bank’s SME proposition, which is the “Growbiz Account”, has three variants that address their cycles of growth from infancy through maturity and stability.

Sule disclosed that Keystone Bank is “also empowering SMEs through our Agency Banking initiative by signing them up as agents for basic off-site cash-in/cash-out services”

The 10 entrepreneurs who emerged winners are: David Anaezi – (Metal Works – Enugu State); Titilayo Sukurat (Variety Store – Lagos State); Henry Nnamani (Poultry farmer – Enugu State); Adeola Eunice (Fashion Designer – Ogun State); Micheal Sowemimo (Photography – Kaduna State); Rere Adetimehin (Shoemaker – Lagos State); Ajibola Oluwafunmilola (Catering Services – Lagos State); Ijeoma Chiamaka – (Organic products – Abia State); Sarah Fatunsin (Fashion Designer – Ondo State); and Cinderella Okubike (Organic products – Abia State).

Finally, visit www.smefinance.org to read more stories.