SME Business Acceleration Forum and Exhibition Bafex Hosts its Inaugural Business Forum and Exhibitions on 26 Sept at Rome Business School, Lagos, Nigeria
The event, Business Acceleration Forum and Exhibitions (BAFEx), which started around 11:30am with an introduction of dignitaries and speakers who spoke on various topics, was anchored by Mr Stephen Ipalibo Lawson.
BAFEx 2019 aimed at driving the MSME’s further into the future by exposing and finding solutions surrounding MSME’s in Nigeria. Many MSME’s faces the challenges of accessing fund to grow their business but BAFEx for micro, small and medium enterprises business forum has found a solution to the pathetic challenges facing Nigeria MSME’s at large. Finance has been the major instrument needed in MSME’s but this instrument have been missing in most MSME’s which has affected the industry and Nigeria’s economy at large.
The first lecture was delivered by the Country Director of Rome Business School Nigeria, Dr Humphrey Akanazu. Introducing the topic on the ”Major challenges of Accessing funding for MSME’s -an objective perspective”, Dr Humphrey pointed out the key challenges facing MSME’s in Nigeria, stating that Nigeria businesses are starved of capital and this has affected not only the optimistic entrepreneurs but the country’s economy.
Explaining further, he outlined the main reasons Nigerian MSME’s are not applying for loans from a research he carried out in 2014 as thus:
- Short Loan Maturities
- Inaccessible Collateral Requirements
- High Interest Rates
- Cumbersome application procedures.
These, he outlined, have formed a scary route for MSMEs to access loans and increased the rate of loan rejection to 90% as at three years ago.
Speaking further, Dr. Humphrey stated the characteristics for accessing loan which he listed to be
- Ownership type and legal form
- Geographic location
- Industry sector
- Ownership-manager’s education and experience
These characteristics are needed to put in place before an entrepreneur can access loan. Dr. Humphrey thanked the audience and advised them to research more on the basic characteristics needed to access loan.
Mrs. Adeyinka, the CEO of AIG Media Pro and second speaker, shared her personal experience on “Major challenges to Accessing Funding for MSMEs”.
She narrated her ordeal on what she encountered during the cause of accessing fund from financial institutions, recounting a financial institution that declined her fund application stating point blank that they cannot offer her loan without giving her any particular reason. However, she said, that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream. Rather, she went back and researched more on how to access loan without rejection.
Stating from her research, Mrs. Adeyinka outlined that for an entrepreneur to access fund from any financial institution, such a person or business must possess these attributes
a) Credit Worthy
b) Business Oriented
c) Knowing the choice of business and the actual capital needed to start it
d) Getting feasibility studies ready
e) Knowing your priorities and avoiding misplaced priorities
f) Knowing your income and expenditure thereby having a good book keeping record
Mrs. Adeyinka stated that startup enterprise should not have a “now now” profit mentality. They should focus more on building their brand rather than focusing on instant profit.
Engr. Ifeanyi Ogochukwu, the Chief Technology Strategist, Debbie Mishael Consulting of South Africa delivered a lecture on “Funding Sources and Strategies to Accessing Fund”.
He explained the reasons why most MSMEs fails in accessing fund from financial institute, stating that most of them have no business plan and most cannot even give a tangible reason why they want loan for a business, thus this attitudes hinders their access to loans.
He pointed out some key strategies in accessing fund from financial institutions, in addition to those already mentioned by other speakers, to include having part of the capital/fund needed to start up a business because most banks will ask you of your own quota; having a legal recognition (registered business) and sitting your business within the metropolis you’re seeking financial help from.
Engr. Ifeanyi concluded by advising MSMEs to key into these strategies and to see their businesses gaining access to fund from financial institutions.
Rounding up the business forum with the fourth lecture on “Unveiling SME Multisystem” was Mr. Chinedu Achunine, CEO SME Multisystem limited.
Mr. Chinedu explained the reasons surrounding the setup of MSMEs multisystem and the various challenges facing Nigerian MSMEs. He pointed that it was for the purposes of finding ways forward that led to the hosting of this business forum/seminar (BAFEx) to enlighten the micro and small enterprises on the way to close the hole surrounding Nigeria MSMEs.
Mr. Chinedu stated that his company has come out as a solution-ground for helping Micro and Small Enterprises to build strong business brands, gain access to loans and other partner financial institutions they collaborate with.
A panel discussion was constituted on NIGERIAN SME BUSINESS LANDSCAPE – CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES featuring five-man panelist of Dr. Humphrey Akanazu, Engr. Ifeanyi Ogochukwu, Mrs. Adeyinka Igbinoba, Dr. Island and Mr. Chinedu Achunine.
The discussion was focused mainly on the opportunities for a better Nigeria SME business landscape, questions and answers were reviewed.
Other highlights of the event included exhibition of products relating to the business forum were on display.
It was a great event anchored by wonderful speakers. Ending the event with lifted spirits, entrepreneurs present, expressed their views and thanked the organizers for this wonderful business forum and exhibition.
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