The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, said the launching of Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) was for growth and development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
Abubakar said this during the formal launching of GEN Nigeria in Abuja.
Abubakar explained that the global entrepreneurship conference holds annually to showcase the activities of SMEs all over the country.
“Today we launched GEN Nigeria, I believe we have 160 countries which are partners in this scheme and Nigeria just launched its own today.
We all understand that when we are talking about Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), SMEs have a major role to play in industrialisation.
This is one step that will give access to market, give capacity building opportunities that will build SMEs in terms of quality and product diversification.
it will also enhance our SMEs financially and will provide other opportunities that will come with it.
We are very excited today because this is another step; we are not just talking about national but international,” Abubakar said.
Chairman, Board of Trustees, GEN Nigeria, Mr Peter Bankole, said that the objective of the platform was to ensure that SMEs enjoyed equal opportunities with others around the world.
Bankole said that the Nigerian SMEs were good and needed to be encouraged.
He said that the five key approaches of GEN Nigeria were to celebrate SMEs, support them, allow for competition, understand and connect them.
“We are going to set up a website because most of the other countries that are part of GEN already have their sites and management board has already put in place drive strategy to make the platform succeed.
We will show them how to reach for support outside what we can provide, so it is not that everything will be gotten from here,” Bankole said.
Bankole said that GEN Nigeria was established by collaborative partnership between the public and private sectors to drive the global objective of GEN.
He said that it was established to identify effective initiatives in Nigeria that positively impacted on societies and interventions that targeted the most critical areas for entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world.
According to him, GEN Nigeria has been in existence for seven years.
Alhaji Dikko Radar, Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), said that the platform would expose Nigerian entrepreneurs, talented and innovative in various aspects of SMEs.
“GEN Nigeria is focusing on Agro-Allied products and this is the key area of priority for the government and I think they are eager and waiting.
At our own end SMEDAN, we have created some kind of fund within our budget to protect this programme and make sure that its aims and objectives are achieved,” Raddar said.