By Daniel Edu
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) recently granted licenses to 116 qualified Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) in a ceremony held in Lagos. Dr. Charles Odii, Director-General of SMEDAN, announced that these licenses would empower BDSPs to deliver high-quality services to Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
In collaboration with the Kaduna Business School and the Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University, SMEDAN certified these BDSPs based on rigorous educational and training criteria. Odii emphasized the significance of this initiative, comparing it to certifying doctors to attend to patients. He stressed that these certified professionals would act as SMEDAN’s representatives nationwide, aiding small businesses in overcoming various challenges.
Additionally, SMEDAN is partnering with The African Centre for Global Entrepreneurial Leadership to implement the Leadership Entrepreneurial Game Show. Successful participants stand a chance to win grants and tools worth N5 million. The agency is also collaborating with selected banks to implement the Matching Fund Programme, providing credit to MSMEs to enhance enterprise output, competitiveness, and job creation.
Dr. Dahiru Sani, Rector of Kaduna Business School, explained that BDSPs would serve as a support system for MSMEs, addressing challenges arising from recent policy changes. Their role includes conducting surveys, identifying issues, and recommending interventions such as financial assistance, emotional resilience, technology support, market access, and international expansion strategies.