Firm unveils initiative to create leeway for SMEs

A new initiative from Footprint to Africa, ‘Marketsquare Africa’ and ‘Africa in 10 Minutes’, will be exploring measures at reducing key economic challenges across Africa, promoters of the initiatives have said.

The initiatives according to the promoters, are focused on strengthening Africa’s economy by creating platforms that would assist business owners, particularly Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) to form joint ventures, synergies and partnership for sustainable development.

Unveiling pre-launch plans in Lagos, recently Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, Osita Oparaugo said that until African countries strive to promote initiatives that would encourage SMEs and strengthen platforms that would tell African stories by Africans, economy boost on the continent might remain unrealistic.

According to him, the organisation is determined to change global business landscape with the solutions the platforms will provide.

He said that “Marketsquare Africa is designed to empower companies; mostly SMEs that form joint ventures, synergies, and partnerships to ensure sustainable growth.

Stressing that financial constraint remains a basic challenge to the growth of SMEs in Africa, particularly Nigeria; Oparaugo said that Marketsquare Africa has been designed to tackle the challenge by providing alternative to loans.

“Footprint to Africa recognises that the SMEs in Africa are faced with a lot of challenges. Access to finance and the inability to improve market access all work together to stifle the growth of the sector. I believe the Marketsquare Africa is the new path of global business where local players can interconnect with their foriegn counterparts,” he said.

Oparaugo, said that the organisation’s ‘Africa in 10 Minutes’ was designed to tell Africa’s business stories from Africans’ perspective.

According to him, the platform is an online television that features the top business stories of the week as reported by the news platform of the organisation, with a focus on the five regions of Africa.

He said: “Footprint to Africa recognises that Africa’s emerging middle class is always on the go and in 10 minutes, viewers would be kept informed about the happening in Africa in terms of investment and business conveniently from any device-laptops, mobile phones and tablets.”

With operational bases in Nigeria, Mozambique, London and New York, Oparaugo said that the organisation is committed to fostering economic development in Africa by encouraging foreign direct investment.

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