To accomplish this, the Program focuses on four key fundamentals of small business development: Access Strategy, Small Business Clusters, Export Development Program and Rural Small Business Support.
1. ACCESS STRATEGY
It employs a three-pillar framework to give Small Businesses access to what they need to grow and thrive in today’s competitive global economy.
- Access to Finance
The Project is developing partnerships with equity funds and Joint Venture Capitalists (JVCs) with the goal of creating job opportunities for micro entrepreneurs by ensuring that SMEs have adequate financing to support their businesses. The Project focuses on sectors and enterprises with the best potential for high growth and job creation. By providing seed and growth capital to invest together with our socially conscious equity fund partners, we work to open up access to finance for Small businesses and spur the creation of sustainable and quality jobs.
- Access to Business Development Services (BDS)
Access to capital alone is not enough for the success of Small Businesses. Financing needs to be accompanied by Business Development Services (BDS) that provide the businesses with the knowledge and tools they need to compete. Through our mentoring and networking programs, the Project provides a unique approach to fostering business development skills, and provides targeted networking and relationship building opportunities that enhances the leadership of small businesses efforts to develop and sustain their businesses. The training sessions cover small business management topics, human resource management, marketing, and financial management and the basic concepts, methods, strategies of entrepreneurship and local economic development.
- Access to Markets
Access to finance and BDS is essential, but without access to national and regional markets, the growth potential of Small Businesses is constrained to their local markets. To help give SMEs access to the wider markets they need for long-term growth and expansion, the Program has developed a variety of innovative initiatives that will facilitate access to trade as well as junior capital markets.
2. SMALL BUSINESS CLUSTERS
By forming sector-focused clusters of BlueBridge supported Small Businesses – first on Local Government Areas and State levels and then across the Federation – advantageous linkages can be built among complementary Small Businesses throughout Africa. These Small Business Clusters will allow the Small Businesses to benefit from mutual comparative advantages, and to gain access to new regional markets.
3. EXPORT READINESS PROGRAMS
Export Readiness Programs will provide guidance to Small Business regarding product design, productivity, and marketing for regional and international customers, as well as help them to establish their regional and international buyers’ database. By helping Small Businesses attain certified international standards, these Export Readiness Programs will thereby open up previously inaccessible regional and international markets for trade.
4. RURAL SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT
The unique aspect of StartUp Nigeria Partnership is its special focus on rural Small Business. Working in collaboration with local, state and federal partners the Project provides specialized technical assistance to rural businesses at all stages of growth or experiencing downturns in the market to help rural businesses achieve community success and business sustainability. Furthermore, the Project addresses the unique challenges and opportunities of operating in rural locations by providing access to capital, workforce development, marketing, trade and rapid response to requests for trainings.