In a groundbreaking move, Vice President Kashim Shettima has announced the establishment of the National Philanthropic Office (NPO), aimed at raising $200 million in grants and non-financial investments to bolster the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector across the country. The announcement was made during the inauguration of the Local Implementation Committee of the NPO at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The initiative, driven 100% by the private sector with full government support, is a testament to President Bola Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to societal improvement and creating an enabling environment for MSMEs. Shettima highlighted that the program will target key sectors within the MSME space to drive job creation in Nigeria.
Eligible MSMEs stand to benefit significantly, with grants ranging from N5 million to N10 million. The program places a strong emphasis on supporting women-owned businesses and startups, aiming to allocate 50% of the funds to this demographic.
Vice President Shettima outlined the overarching goal of establishing twelve industrial value-chain hubs and accelerators nationwide. These hubs will focus on digitized shared workspaces, agro-processing, and shared industries, with the aim of generating one million jobs directly and indirectly within the MSME ecosystem.
Thelma Ekiyor-Solanke, the Country Chairperson of the NPO, commended Vice President Shettima’s visionary commitment to the initiative, emphasizing the transformative impact it will have on philanthropy and the country’s investing landscape. The Local Implementation Committee, chaired by Ekiyor-Solanke, includes key industry leaders such as the Managing Directors of Wema Bank, Bank of Industry, and Access Bank, among others.
This ambitious initiative not only aligns with global trends of exploring alternative funding methods for vital projects but also reflects a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors. The NPO’s focus on providing catalytic capital to entrepreneurs and promoting innovation within MSMEs is expected to make a significant contribution to Nigeria’s economic development.
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