Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) create the majority of jobs in the United States, approximately 1.5 million jobs annually, and account for 64% of new jobs created (Small Business Administration). In South Africa, 91% of businesses are classified SMEs, contributing 60% of the employment workforce, and 52% of the country’s GDP.

In Nigeria, over the last five years, SMEs have contributed about 48% of the national GDP (the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics). With a total number of about 17.4 million registered SMEs (i.e. 96% of businesses in the country), they account for 84% of the employed workforce; 50% in industrial jobs and approximately 90% in the manufacturing sector.

These numbers are not only eye opening, but also challenges the long-held belief that big corporations employ the most labour and contribute the largest to economic development in Nigeria. MSMEs contribute more to the growth of the Nigerian economy than oil and gas despite the hurdles that exist; such as insufficient availability of capital, misplaced inventory records, poor management principles and financial practices.

Although the role of big corporations in economic development cannot be ignored; the collective contributions of MSMEs as drivers of the Nigerian Economy are real, tangible and realistic.

MSMEs are tools for capacity creation, innovation and are necessary economic drivers that must continuously be supported through funding and expert development for them to thrive in any given sector.

As we celebrate The World MSME day, we remind ourselves of the REALISED VALUE seen today, and the necessary need to do more to benefit from FUTURE VALUE.