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IWD: SMEDAN promises support for female entrepreneurs

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As part of efforts to boost support for women entrepreneurs, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, has revealed a new brand to reposition the agency towards achieving its mission of job creation, rural industrialisation, and livelihood enhancement through sustainable development of the Small Medium Enterprise sub-sector.

In a statement by the SMEDAN Director General, Mr Charles Odii on Friday, the agency emphasised that the new brand aims to ensure prosperity for small business owners, especially women, who constitute over 70 percent of SMEs in the country.

Odii emphasised that the decision to unveil the brand on International Women’s Day underscores the agency’s commitment to women’s empowerment.

Yearly, the International Women’s Day is marked globally on March 8.

The 2024 celebration is themed, #InspireInclusion. Collectively, we can all #InspireInclusion.

The statement read, “As the agency responsible for the transition of nano businesses into micro, micro into small, and small into medium, we understand the importance of change and progress. Not just for the sake of it, but because adaptation and evolution are crucial for relevance and impact.”

“We want to clearly communicate our purpose, strengthen our bond with the entities that we serve, and the local and international stakeholders we collaborate with for success. More importantly, we want to reassure SMEs that we are #HereForProsperity, their prosperity.”

“We’ve created a brand that is closer to the people, modern in its outlook, approachable in its demeanour, and vibrant in its spirit. The backbones of our economy deserve to be catered to by an agency that mirrors the excellence they showcase daily and aspire to.”

“We made the deliberate choice to announce this on International Women’s Day because of the significance of women to our prosperity mission. Women are responsible for almost 75 percent of SMEs in the country, and they have also distinguished themselves as investment multipliers, on whose backs and hard work the economy rests.”

The SMEDAN DG further declared a renewed dedication to empowering women, ensuring they receive deserving support and recognition for their productivity and contributions.

He added that the commitment starts within SMEDAN, acknowledging the significant efforts of the women who have devoted decades to fortify the foundations of Nigeria’s economy.

“As part of our renewal, SMEDAN is rededicating itself to the empowerment of women, ensuring that they get deserved support and recognition for their productivity and contributions. We will start this at home, with the women of SMEDAN, many of whom have invested decades of their lives into building stronger roots for the pillars that hold the Nigerian economy. The new SMEDAN will spotlight them, provide them with the tools and resources to create more impact, and achieve personal progress.”

“While we will continue to deliberately create growth opportunities for women, none will be left behind. Our pledge to SMEs remains. We will enable growth and prosperity, offer guidance, provide resources, connect them to opportunities, and ensure workforce support. No longer will a future-forward, people-government facing agency like ours be seen to work for just a few, but for the good of all.”

“SMEDAN-20 encouraged big dreams, small starts, and fast growth, SMEDAN 2.0 is about prosperity: for the Nigerian businessperson and the country. Because we are convinced that when the Nigerian businessperson prospers, so does Nigeria,” the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, at an event celebrating International Women’s Day, the Director, Partnership and Coordination Department, Mrs Omube-Pepple Linda said SMEDAN is committed to supporting businesses of women in the country to grow and expand

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