Posted by News Express | 26 December 2017 | 1,718 times
The Bayelsa State Microfinance and Enterprise Development Agency (BYMEDA) has gained international recognition as it bagged the 2017 World SME Excellence Award.
The global award was bestowed on the agency at the Habitat Centre in New Delhi, India during the 21st International Conference on SMEs, jointly organised by the World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) and Grant Thorton International in the “Organisation Category”.
The promoters of the award said BYMEDIA was recognised as a champion in the 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 (about $10 million) to entrepreneurs in the sub-sector and also generating of over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs.
An ecstatic 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. Soomilduth Bholah, expressed surprise at the award but attributed it to hard work and dedication.
Eradiri dedicated the award to God Almighty and gave the credit to Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for giving humongous support to the MSME subsector in the last five years in line with his promise to stimulate and re-engineer the economic growth of the state.
He stated that the global recognition would greatly spur the agency in its drive for creating possibilities, provision and prosperity for entrepreneurs and assured that in 2018 the agency would kick-start its signature project known as “the Project 10 SME Challenge” to create 30,000 jobs directly and indirectly by the year 2020.
Eradiri disclosed that the project would be formally launched with development partners to achieve the objective, which would also assist the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 1, 8 and 9.
Meanwhile, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, has been approved to host the 2018 Africa SME Roundtable Event from March 1-3, 2018.
The event is a gathering of SME policy/decision makers, entrepreneurs, academia, angel investors, venture capitalists, SME finance institutions, international donor agencies, 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 conference where decisions taken will have global impact, the first being the 20th International Conference on SMEs edition of the World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) co-hosted in 2014.
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