By Oluwafunke Ishola
The Bellafricana says it has partnered with Nest Cooperative to enhance access to finance for creative Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) toward boosting productivity and economic growth.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bellafricana is a platform that promotes unique products and services made in Nigeria, and connects them to global consumers.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Bukky Asehinde, made this known on Tuesday at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Lagos.
Asehinde said that the partnership would boost MSMEs competitiveness in the global trade.
She said that the collaboration was forged to support and bridge some of the identified gaps that inhibit MSMEs from operating sustainable businesses that could compete globally.
“This initiative is a necessity at this point, and especially with the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, a lot of MSMEs need this support to enable them to scale effectively to participate in this trade opportunity.
“We believe that businesses producing quality products Made-in-Nigeria play a key role toward increasing our export income, as well as taxable income for the economy.
“Seeing how the Nest Cooperative have a proven track record of providing financial expertise with a focus toward SMEs in Nigeria, we could not think of any reason why not to partner with them,” she said.
Asehinde said that the fund would cater for MSMEs in the Food and Beverage, Fashion, Arts and Crafts, Home and Living, Health and Beauty sector, among others.
According to her, through the Bellafricana platform, various business categories have been vetted, registered, trained and guided through different business management processes that will strategically position them to leverage trade opportunities.
Asehinde said that to ensure the success of the initiative, the platform had partnered the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
She listed other partners as: DHL and Digital Marketing Skill Institute.
Asehinde expressed optimism that the initiative would assist many MSMEs to forge greater collaborations that would culminate into milestones of achievements.
Also, Mr Seyi Olusanya, Chief Operating Officer, Nest Cooperative, said the Bellafricana/Nest partnership would drive socio-economic growth and reduce the nation’s unemployment rate.
“It is quite impressive to see the amount of quality products with attention to details that are being made by members of the Bellafricana community.
“This becomes a great encouragement to ensure that the support they need to succeed is being provided.
“That is why NEST has extended its unwavering commitment to supporting SMEs and ensuring their growth through funding and advisory services,” he said.
Olusanya said that the partnership would assist Bellafricana community members with financial advisory services to boost revenue generation and also equipment financing. (NAN)