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FINANCE, POWER AND ECONOMIC INSTABILITY, TOP CHALLENGES FACING SMES IN NIGERIA

Online shopping community, Kaymu, has narrowed the top three challenges facing small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria down to insufficient access to finance, unstable power supply and economic instability.

Kaymu obtained this data from a survey carried out at on entrepreneurs at the recently concluded Entrepreneurs Club which had over 200 entrepreneurs in
attendance. "In order to seek ways to improve the efficiency of SMEs, we discovered from entrepreneurs in our network and across Nigeria, some of the major challenges they face. Ranking at the top of the list was lack of finance and financial planning, stated Sefik Bagdadioglu, Managing Director Kaymu.


According to Bagdadioglu, online marketplaces like Kaymu seek to empower entrepreneurs financially and this necessitates adequate education to help these SMEs manage their revenue. "Many entrepreneurs go into business without adequate knowledge on how to access and manage finance and seminars like the Entrepreneurs' Club seeks to bridge the
knowledge gap by creating an enabling environment for SMEs to liaise with experts in the field", he added.

Fidelity Bank SME expert, Ibikunle Bolorunduro at the event disclosed that addressing SMEs financial challenges goes beyond access to finance. "There is the need to understand the SME's spending pattern, account keeping and financial management process. Over time we have discovered that the major challenge SMEs face is financial education and not the finance itself", he said.

Meanwhile Muyiwa Afolabi, renowned life and business coach stated that 60% of businesses in Nigeria shut down before the age of 5 as a result of the low standard of living, epileptic power supply and poor transportation amongst others, functions of the harsh economic environment they operate in. He however cautioned SMEs to rise above their limitations and emulate successful entrepreneurs flourishing despite the economic instability.

SMEs are the engine of growth and catalyst for the transformation of any country and as a result they require an enabling environment, personal and business development to flourish.

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