The Bayelsa State Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency has gained international recognition by bagging the 2017 World SME Excellence Award.
The global award was bestowed on the agency at the Habitat Center in New Delhi, India during the 21st International Conference on SME’s jointly organized by the World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises and Grant Thorton International in the “Organisation Category”.
The promoters of the award said the Bayelsa State Micro-finance and Enterprise Development Agency was recognised as a champion in promotion, support and development of the micro, small and medium enterprises ecosystem.They particularly made reference to the agency’s efforts at spearheading and attracting over N4 billion, which is equivalent to over $10 million, to entrepreneurs in the sub-sector and also generation of over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Director-General of the agency, Ebiekure Jasper Eradiri, who was on hand to receive the award from the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Government of Mauritius, Hon. SoomilduthBholah, ýexpressed surprise at the award, but attributed it to hardwork and dedication.
Eradiri in his remarks appreciated Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for givingý humongous support to the MSME sub-sector in the last five years in line with his promise to give massive and robust support to the sub-sector in order to stimulate and re-engineer the economic growth of the state.ý
He stated that the global recognition will greatly spur the agency in its drive of creating possibilities, provisions and prosperity for entrepreneurs and assured that in 2018, the agency will kick-start its signature project -The Project 10 SME Challenge – to create 30,000 jobs directlyý and indirectly by the year 2020.ý
Meanwhile, Yenagoa City in Bayelsa State, Nigeria has been approved to host the 2018 Africa SME Roundtable Event from March 1 to 3, 2018.
The event is a gathering of SME Policy/decision makers, entrepreneurs, academia, angel investors, venture capitalists, SME finance institutions, international donor agenciesý, Development Finance Institutions and African leaders among others.
As part of the highlights, an African SME umbrella body will be formally launched during the event to spearhead the advocacy and promote the interests of African SMEs within the African Union and United Nations respectively.
This will be the second time Yenagoa will host an SME confab where decisions taken will have global impact, the first being the 20th International Conference on SMEs edition of the World Association for Small & Medium Enterprises co-hosted in 2014.