10 Reasons You Need To Know About SMEDAN

10 Reasons You Need To Know About SMEDAN

November 28, 2020 0

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria are well recognised as the backbone of our economies and commerce. They make major contributions to global economic growth and sustainable development while generating employment, alleviating poverty, creating wealth and ensuring the smooth distribution of foods across the nation. It is this recognition of the important roles played by SMEs in Nigeria that has resulted in increased education on the approach to develop and sustain our SMEs sector. This in turn led to the creation of SMEDAN.

The Small and Medium Development Agency of Nigeria was set up in (2003) to stimulate, monitor and coordinate the development of the MSMEs sub-sector. The Agency is a “one-stop-shop” for incubating and providing a solid foundation for the nurturing of micro, small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. SMEDAN has been actively involved in the development and promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs in Nigeria since its inception and SMEs in Nigeria have benefited greatly from this.

10 Reasons You Need To Know About SMEDAN
SMEDAN presents SME owners in Nigeria with amazing benefits

The SMEDAN is driven by its vision statement of ensuring that micro, small and medium entrepreneurs/investors have access to economic resources such as capital, technology and entrepreneurial skills required for their development and drive the sustainable economic development of Nigeria. And if you haven’t heard of this agency before now, below are ten reasons why you should know about SMEDAN today:

1.SMEDAN has successfully created a pool of loans accessible to SMEs in Nigeria from credible providers such as banks, NGOs, Micro-finance, and corporate societies. There are also loans provided by the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as Bank of Agriculture (BOA) loans. The agency then provides registered entrepreneurs, and small businesses access to these loans through its platform.

This agency also provides registered SMEs in Nigeria with access to the SMEDAN Conditional Grant Scheme (Grants of up to N50,000 per MSME); priority funding from public and private sector financial institutions, including International Donor Agencies; and access to business insurance schemes. Registration is completely free, and SMEDAN ensures that where applicable, the interest rates charged on these loans are low, affordable and fair.

2.The SMEDAN has done much to ensure the effective monitoring and regulation of the activities surrounding the development of SMEs in Nigeria. For instance, last year, the agency disbursed the sum of  N103.5 million to 2,070 entrepreneurs in Sokoto state. The monies were given to support the drive to economic self-reliance and national development in the state, with beneficiaries comprising men and women.

To ensure that this initiative covers all the 23 Local Government Areas (LGA) in the state, 90 participants selected from each LGA and SMEDAN secured the participation of various Nigerian banks. Each participant received a deposit of N50,000, paid by the agency directly to their bank accounts.

3.The creation of favourable policies for the development of SMEs. To this end, the agency has engineered a national council that oversees the development of SMEs in the country, by bringing together stakeholders in the industry under one umbrella thereby projecting a sense of belongings to these SMEs and also assisting in funding when necessary.

4.SMEDAN has created a plethora of development opportunities and programs, offering support services, and provision of developmental instruments to aid the growth of MSMEs. The agency introduced the National Enterprise development programme, which is run in every state of the federation and has equally led to the establishment of over 800 enterprises across the nation, thereby providing jobs to unemployed Nigerians.

5.SMEDAN develops and promotes the operations of MSMEs in the nation through international collaborations. For instance, back in June earlier this year the agency partnered with Leapworld Limited to celebrate the 2020 United Nations MSME Day with small business owners as well as key experts and policymakers in the industry. This collaboration aimed at encouraging SMEs in Nigeria and exposing their businesses to as many opportunities as possible.

6.Asides from business loans, SMEDAN also offers entrepreneurs in Nigeria Personal loan; credit card loan and mortgage loans to help alleviate their private concerns as distinct from their business challenges. Personal loans are geared towards assisting entrepreneurs to meet pressing personal demands or targets in due time, and the interest rates here are often so low that most times, the loans require no asset security. Credit card loans work to help beneficiaries access quick cash during emergencies or urgent matters while Mortgage loans are granted to assist individuals or business owners acquire new properties when the need arises.

7.Skill and entrepreneurship development is a veritable strategy to reduce unemployment and boost economic transformation. Since its inception, SMEDAN has consistently sought ways to tackle some of the problems the nation is faced with, which includes unemployment and instances of this abound. For one, last year, the agency provided workspaces for various young business owners unable to afford decent office space. The move is targeted at reducing the unemployment rate, which rose to a six-year high of 23 percent in the third quarter of 2018 and to improve economic productivity.

This provision of workspace to the young business owners was initiated under the Young Business Owners in Nigeria (Y-BON) as part of Federal Government economic policies to empower business owners between the ages of 20 and 45 with a view to reducing unemployment and improving on the self-dependence among the youths. Today, SMEDAN has provided over 59.7million jobs to Nigerians.

8.The SMEDAN has done much to improve on and continually cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit in young Nigerian youths from its establishment till date. This feat has been largely achieved through a litany of sensitisation programmes and periodic seminars some of which include: Corpers Entrepreneurship Development Programme (CEDP), General Entrepreneurship Development Programme (GEDP), Public Service Entrepreneurship Development Programme, BDSP Cluster intervention programme and NAPEP/MDG/SMEDAN Entrepreneurship Programme for Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) beneficiaries in the 36 states of the federation including FCT. 

From time to time, the Agency also undertakes capacity building programmes targeting identified MSME clusters in an attempt to re-focus, strengthen and integrate them into the mainstream of the economy.

9.In collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] and all relevant stakeholders, SMEDAN was the pioneer agency that delivered the first national Policy which sign-posted the development of the micro, small and medium enterprises [MSME] sub-sector. The Policy was launched back on July 26, 2007, and effectively resolved the confusion surrounding the definition of MSMEs in Nigeria. It also laid the foundation for achieving institutional synergies in a National Consultative Committee on MSME Policy implementation. The National Committee has since been set up across the states of the Nigerian federation.

10.SMEDAN has overseen the establishment of Business Support Centres [BSCs] for SMEs in Nigeria in various regions of the country. This was done in collaboration with States and Business Membership Organizations [BMO] as platforms for delivery of business development services (BDS) for operators and startups. The Agency has also established various Business Information Centres [BICs] in collaboration with and Local Governments, Communities, Micro-Finance Banks, Faith-based Groups, Tertiary Institutions and Business Membership Organizations [BMO] as platforms for delivery of needed business information for operators and start-ups. 


The business potential across various sectors in Nigeria, including energy, infrastructure, agriculture, natural resources, and information and communications, is tremendous. Despite the challenges of doing business in Nigeria, every business owner’s perception of real opportunity is ultimately based on whether they perceive the business risks as a half-full or half-empty glass. Understanding this choice has helped successful SMEs in Nigeria to better reposition themselves for the opportunities they need and thanks to agencies like SMEDAN, the business environment is on a path to sustainable growth for years to come.

Linda Onyinyechukwu
Linda Onyinyechukwu
Linda Onyinyechukwu
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