News Column

Entrepreneurs Urged to Take Advantage of Micro-Credit Fund

August 4, 2014

A call has gone to entrepreneurs to take advantage of the Lagos State micro-credit fund to grow their businesses with a view to creating employment for the unemployed in the country.

This call came from the Chief Executive Officer, Auldon Limited, Mr.Paul Orajiaka, at an event held by Lagos State and other private organisations to mark the second anniversary of the Enterprise Day.

According to Orajiaka, entrepreneurs and artisans, especially those trained by the Lagos State government, should take advantage of the state's micro-credit fund to expand their businesses, saying this would help others to be gainfully employed since businesses require workforce to enhance productivity.

Orajiaka, who made this known while speaking at the event, stressed that for SMEs to grow, state governments across the country must provide the enabling environment and infrastructure.

The Lagos State government had recently established a micro-credit fund for artisans with a view to alleviating poverty in the state. The fund is managed by the Lagos State Microfinance Institution (LASMI).

Also speaking at the occasion, the state's Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, said the fund, which would be accessible to artisans, was in fulfilment of the governor's promise to support entrepreneurs and SMEs in the state.

She said: "It is common knowledge that even in most developed economies, the best way through which the self-employed can have access to loans remains an effective micro-credit financing scheme."

Stressing the importance of single digit interest rate for start-ups, Orajiaka stated that this would ensure that businesses survive and outlive their promoters.

"At one point I almost gave up because it was difficult building my business especially without funding from banks. It was near impossible to continue, but my frustration and anger at the banking system coupled with lack of support, only made me further persevere, be more passionate and determined to ensure that the business grew.

"These virtues I adopted did not disappoint me but instead gave me the needed impetus sufficient to get my company going. No doubt it is almost an uphill task, succeeding as an entrepreneur in this clime, so it would be unfair to blame some Nigerian entrepreneurs who fail to surmount the numerous challenges that stifle their growth," he said.

He added that entrepreneurs could still attain success in Nigeria, despite the challenges, if they can recapture the passion and emotions of that moment when they began."

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Source: AllAfrica

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