The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has taken a significant stride in empowering women and young people by inaugurating a dedicated desk at its headquarters in Abuja.

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)

This initiative reflects SMEDAN’s commitment to fostering the growth of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector through targeted programs and inclusive measures.

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During the unveiling ceremony, Mr. Charles Odii, the Director General/CEO of SMEDAN, underscored the importance of investing in women, emphasizing their pivotal role as drivers of prosperity.

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The dedicated desk aims to coordinate efforts to democratize access to finance for women, provide tailored training, and ensure proportionate inclusion in all SMEDAN programs. This focus on women is informed by data-driven decisions, recognizing them as significant contributors to the SME landscape.

According to Odii, grants provided to women yield economic benefits, enhance living standards, transform communities, and elevate households.

As part of the initiative, select women and youth-led SMEs showcased their products during the event, engaging with Odii and the Minister of Women Affairs, Barr. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye.

Discussions covered various issues affecting their growth, including regulations, taxation, and operational costs. Charles Odii outlined plans to collaborate with relevant agencies such as CAC, NAFDAC, and REA to optimize regulatory frameworks for business growth and create a business-friendly environment.

The Minister of Women Affairs commended SMEDAN for prioritizing women and expressed her ministry’s readiness to partner in championing the causes of female SME owners.

In addition to the desk unveiling, the minister inspected SMEDAN’s common facility center, equipped with industrial sewing machines and tailoring tools available for use by women.

SMEDAN plans to extend similar benefits to women in other parts of the country by revamping Industrial Development Centres and hubs in strategic locations across Nigeria. This initiative aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda to eliminate poverty and promote inclusive growth.