Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs in Nigeria have been advised to focus on the friendly growth industries in the post-COVID-19 era.
The industries include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Creative Industries, Fintech, and Edutech.
Dr. Nick Okoye Chairman, Nick Okoye Organization, and former Executive Director NSE stated this while making a presentation titled; ‘SME funding and Entrepreneurship Development in Nigeria.’
The SME Finance Series Webinar was organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos over the weekend.
Dr Okoye emphasized that before SMEs can thrive in Nigeria, there is a need to support them and understand their ecosystem.
For young individuals that are trying to get into the SME market post-COVID-19, he advised them to focus on the friendly growth industries such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Creative Industries, Fintech and Edutech.
He advocated for an SME capital market strategy as capital is one of the fundamental problems SMEs face.
The strategy, according to Okoye, should cover the following areas;
- SME bond designed on a state by state basis
- SME collective investment schemes: savings bond, equity trust, land bank trust, etc.
- SME equity platform
- SME debt platform and
- Asset-Backed securities and cash flow securitization.
Other participants at the event stressed the urgent need to restructure the sector and attract investment from private equity firms and venture capitalists to enable the country to speedily wriggle out of the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the economy.