Small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in the Niger Delta region face many key constraints to their competitiveness and potential, some of which include poor technical and business, management skills, poor access to finance and weak access to market information, particularly large institutional buyers. Building capacity among local SMEs is critical to developing an enabling environment in which markets can grow and thrive.
Our Business Linkages Initiatives (BLI) program, seeks to promote a business environment in which local small and medium sized enterprises in the Niger Delta can compete in domestic, regional and global markets and can contribute significantly to wealth and job creation in both the Niger Delta as well as nationally.This environment is created through partnerships between private sector companies and public and donor institutions working to create access to market information, market-driven business opportunities and support and development systems for local SMEs.
The program seeks to improve the participation of a large number of competitive local entrepreneurial firms in the supply chain of large companies and the value chain of viable sectors through the following components:
- Improving market access – this entails understanding the demand requirements of large corporates and major buyers in viable growth markets – referring to the type, volume, quality and means of product and service delivery, and building the capacity of local enterprises to meet them.
- The business support environment, which entails the development of capacity of business development service providers and facilitating access to finance for local SMEs.
- Establishment of alliances, networks and partnerships to improve market access and to leverage funds to reduce capacity building and upgrading costs for SMEs,to enable them address supply chain and other market opportunities.