As a way of improving the lot of entrepreneurs in Nigeria, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and Bank of Industry (BOI) have launched a Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF) scheme for corps members, to aid them in launching their micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Findings from a 2013 report suggest that an NYSC fund scheme once existed under the guise of benefiting corps members, while neglecting its pledges to aid in the establishment of these corps members. However this year, BOI has pledged about a minimum of 500,000 naira and a maximum of 2 million naira for beneficiaries of the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF) after successfully serving as corps members.
In Nigeria MSMEs are primarily within the manufacturing or service sector, thus the sum of 2 billion naira should improve the new businesses under this umbrella.
While MSMEs may not be large businesses that can provide employment to the nation’s youth on a large scale, a good number of these small scale businesses will ensure a steady growth in the economy. Adeoye Afolabi suggests that money invested in MSMEs will ultimately create a more developed economy as well as ensure even distribution of wealth. As the report indicates, the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) identified Nigeria as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world, illuminating that 35 out of every 100 Nigerians are engaged in some kind of entrepreneurial activity.
The chart below from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, shows Nigeria as one of the countries with the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity, which reinforces the country’s high tendency to excel with properly-funded MSMEs.
Experts have named entrepreneurs as a direct link to economic growth as they provide new ideas thereby creating more opportunities, expanding business frontiers in the country. The World Bank’s Global Economic Monitor indicates that nations with higher levels of entrepreneurial activity enjoy strong economic growth.
For more insight on the NYSC Fund Scheme, click here