The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has empowered more than 440 small businesses by providing start-up equipment and training under the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI). The Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr. Charles Odii, announced the empowerment at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) distribution center in Abuja.
In the FCT, 55 individuals, including Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), were empowered with equipment in various trades to support small businesses and enhance their chances of success. Notably, 35 individuals trained in fashion design received industrial machines, while participants in catering received mixers, gas cylinders, and industrial ovens. Additionally, five individuals trained in leatherwork were equipped with the necessary machines for their business.
The SMEDAN training and empowerment program spans 13 states across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, with a total of 715 small businesses set to benefit. Empowerment has already been provided to businesses in Katsina, Niger, the FCT, and five other states, with the remaining five states expected to be empowered soon.
Addressing the beneficiaries, Charles Odii emphasized the government’s commitment to SME development, stating, “India and China changed their economies because they focused on people like you, the small businesses.” He urged beneficiaries to utilize the provided kits to expand their businesses and create job opportunities for fellow Nigerians. The empowerment initiative aims to reduce the cost of acquiring knowledge, skills, and equipment for small businesses, contributing to economic growth and development.