Lagos – Mr Sani Labaran, the Project Coordinator, Growth and Employment (GEM) Project, has said that the venture was aimed at creating about 100,000 jobs upon completion.
Labaran made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of the GEM Equity Window Launch on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to him, the project is open to every Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneur (SMEs) without discrimination.
“Everybody has equal opportunity,’’ Labaran said.
He explained that the ultimate aim of the project was to ensure the growth of the economy beyond oil.
The coordinator said that interested investors should register on the Business, Innovation and Growth (BIG) platform to qualify for the equity financing through the GEM project.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
He added that SMEs must first be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission to be eligible.
“It became effective in July 2013. It is a five-year programme.
“But what we are saying is that whoever we support in the next few years should become effective in whatever business he is doing.
“Whoever we support must be able to stand on his or her own. The GEM project has a life span that will expire by September 2018.
“If the objective of the project is achieved, we can ask the government to create more projects that will be financed by the World Bank,’’ Labaran said.
He advised SMEs to leverage on the opportunities created by the performance and equity grant segments of the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Equity Window is a grant facility to qualified venture capital, private equity and other equity providers.
The aim is to incentivise equity providers to provide equity finance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
NAN also reports that the GEM project seeks to support participating MSMEs to improve their sales and productivity and thereby increase their market share and their contributions to employment.
It is implemented through the BIG online platform that will support MSMEs through various training programmes, consulting services and performance-based grants.
The project is sponsored by the World Bank and hosted by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. (NAN)