The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) encourages Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria to embrace technology for their business growth and resilience in these challenging times.
At the chamber’s spotlight event, a platform designed to empower SMEs with valuable insights from industry leaders, experienced professionals in both technology and SME sectors shared their expertise.
The theme, ‘Technology as an enabler for SME Growth, Sustainability and Success,’ emphasized Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt as key players in Africa’s tech landscape. These “big four” markets have received about 73% of total tech financing in Africa, according to Dame Adebola Williams, the chamber’s president.
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“Nigeria boasts a thriving tech sector, driven by financial services and telecommunications, hosting over 400 tech start-ups and ranking 61st globally in the start-up ecosystem index. Businesses that fully embrace technology are gaining a competitive edge,” she emphasized.
Williams highlighted the need to equip business owners with updated strategies, especially during these challenging times. “We’re committed to helping our members run their businesses more efficiently. Adapting to new ways of doing business is crucial for survival in the current economic climate.”
With over 60 million Nigerians living in multi-dimensional poverty, Williams stressed the urgency for change. She pointed out that many Nigerians possess untapped tech-savvy skills. Simple tech solutions like WhatsApp advertising and B2B strategies can significantly boost sales for small businesses.
Wofai Samuel, the Director of Communications, Government Relations, and Advocacy (also acting Director-General), underlined the transformative power of technology across all sectors. “We’re focused on empowering SMEs by leveraging technology. Our goal is to provide them with valuable insights and networking opportunities to adopt technology effectively.”
Abiodun Sanni, Senior Sales Manager at Rack Centre, highlighted the pivotal role of digital infrastructure for SMEs. He emphasized that despite their significant contributions, SMEs face numerous challenges. Embracing digital infrastructure can enhance efficiency, expand customer reach, and attract investors, ultimately ensuring sustainability.
Sanni acknowledged potential obstacles to tech adoption, including initial costs, regulatory uncertainties, and knowledge gaps. However, he stressed that the benefits far outweigh these concerns.
Peter Olusoji Ogundele, Country Manager at LM Ericsson Nigeria Limited, emphasized the critical importance of technology in driving productivity and cost savings for businesses.
Bolanle Tyson, Head of SME Digital Products at Sterling Bank, shed light on how technology can address the pain points faced by SMEs. Automation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and other tech solutions have the potential to revolutionize SME operations.