SME support in Nigeria

SME support in Nigeria

This article looks at the various SME (Small-and Medium-sized Enterprises) support organizations in Nigeria. That is, the various types of organizations that support SMEs in Nigeria and examples of such organizations.


⦁ Government and agencies.
⦁ Banks and other financial organizations.
⦁ Not-for-profit Foundations/NGOs
⦁ Donor Agencies.
⦁ Incubators/Accelerators.
⦁ Trade Associations.

SME support in Nigeria

SME support in Nigeria – types of support provided

Government tries to create an enabling environment through policies and programs that support SME development.

Financial institutions and other lending organizations help SMEs to access finance.

Corporate organizations and NGO help SMEs access more competitive markets through links to larger product distribution networks.

International donor agencies and corporations offer grants to SMEs to help their access to finance.

In addition, some help SMEs to access to international markets through export promotion initiatives.

They also help with research and development for example research institutes and academic institutions.

SMEs also benefit from the support system available through these organizations throughout the different stages of their business.

Accelerators and incubators offer mentorship and training programs for SMEs.

Also, some business associations and NGOs cater to the needs of women business owners.

SME support in Nigeria – support organizations

The Government and agencies.

The Nigerian government support SMEs through policies and regulations.

Although the major entrepreneurial policies on micro small and medium enterprises in Nigeria are determined at the national level, the strategies put in place by the government to support SMEs can be at the local, state or national level.

In addition, there are Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs), Parastatals and regulatory bodies that oversee and support SME activities in Nigeria.

Examples of Government agencies that oversees the activities of small scale business in Nigeria

Government and agencies influence SME policies and support small and medium businesses in Nigeria. Examples of MDAs that support the activities of SMEs in Nigeria are:

⦁ Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
⦁ Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).
⦁ Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
⦁ Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (NACCIMA).
⦁ National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
⦁ Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON).
⦁ National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
⦁ Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI).
⦁ Federal Ministry of Communications Technology (FMCT).
⦁ National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
⦁ Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
⦁ Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO).

SME support in Nigeria – government schemes and policies on SMEs in Nigeria.

The government schemes and policies on SMEs are comprehensive frameworks for developing micro, small and medium enterprises in Nigeria.

They depict strategies that are put in place by government to support SMEs through SME intervention programs.

Examples of the policies and schemes include:

SME support in Nigeria – National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

The major policy on SMEs in Nigeria is the National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

The policy was developed by the SMEDAN with technical and financial support from the African Institute of Applied Economics (AIAE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2007.

It was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, 9th May, 2007 and officially launched on Thursday, 26th July, 2007.

There is a revised National Policy on MSMEs (2014).

SME support in Nigeria – National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS 2004-2007)

NEEDS was an intervening policy programme launched to support SMEs by the Nigerian government under President Obasanjos administration.

The programme aimed to promote economic growth and combat poverty and one of the key strategies of the programme was supporting SMEs to help create jobs.

SME support in Nigeria – the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP)

As a continuation of the NEEDs programme, the successor to the Obasanjo government, President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013 wanted people to benefit from the fruits of the country’s economic growth.

The NEDEP was launched as an offshoot of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the MSME policy review.

It was designed to address the challenges constraining the growth of the SME sector in Nigeria.

That is, the objective of NEDEP was to directly respond to the challenges identified by the 2010 MSME Collaborative survey carried out by the Small and Medium Development Agency (SMEDAN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

SME support in Nigeria – banks and other financial organisations

Banks and other financial organisations that support SMEs in Nigeria include:

⦁ Licensed commercial banks in Nigeria.
⦁ Licensed microfinance banks in Nigeria.
⦁ Bank of Agriculture (BOA).
⦁ Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM)

Bank of Industry (BOI)

The Bank of Industry is a development financing institution that provides financial assistance for the establishment, expansion, diversification and rehabilitation of enterprises in Nigeria.

SME support in Nigeria Not-for-profit Foundations/NGOs

Examples of Not-for-profit Foundations/NGOs that support SMEs in Nigeria are:


WIMBIZ is an NGO that helps to promote the status and influence of women and their contribution to nation building.

Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA)

EFInA is a Financial sector development organization that promotes financial inclusion.

It is funded by DFID and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The organization aims to be a leader in facilitating an all-inclusive and growth-promoting financial system through research, innovation, advocacy and capacity building.

The efforts of the organization contribute to financial inclusion of SMEs particularly women-owned enterprises in Nigeria.

FATE Foundation

FATE Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in 2000.

The organization aims to encourage entrepreneurship in Nigeria through training, mentoring, loan support and consulting.

In addition, FATE Foundation is committed to impacting the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Nigeria by contributing to the development of structured policy/program design and implementation.

It helps to provide a system for monitoring and evaluating entrepreneurship goals/objectives through SME-themed research, policy dialogue sessions and advocacy.

Other NGOs include:

⦁ Ford Foundation.
⦁ Tony Elumelu Foundation.
⦁ Fisher Foundation.
⦁ Cherie Blair Foundation.
⦁ Oando Foundation.
⦁ The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
⦁ The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

SME support in Nigeria – donor agencies

Donor Agencies provide financial support to SMEs in the form of grants. Some examples of donor agencies are:

⦁ United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
⦁ United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
⦁ Giz Nigeria.
⦁ Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
⦁ Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).

SME support in Nigeria – incubators/accelerators

Some examples of incubators and accelerators are:

⦁ Venia Hub.
⦁ She Leads Africa.
⦁ StartPreneurs.

SME support in Nigeria – trade associations

Examples of trade associations are:

⦁ The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
⦁ Nigeria’s Employer’s Consultative Association (NECA).
⦁ National Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME).