AEA empowers 55, 017 individuals, businesses in ten years

As part of its mandates, the Abuja Enterprise Agency, AEA, has assisted over 55, 017 individuals and businesses with critical business support such as business clinics, access to finance, counseling, sensitization, workspace and market linkage in the past ten years.

The agency has also supported 25, 100 rural entrepreneurs in 160 communities with capacity building trainings, access to finance, provision of equipment and other critical areas with 90 percent youths.

The Managing Director of the agency, Malam Arabi Mohammed, made this revelation while addressing journalists as part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the agency.

Other areas of support according to the agency include the 3rd Abuja Business Plan Competition, ABPC, where financial support totalling N26 million in both cash prize and credit facility were provided to the top 21 finalist who emerged from a keenly contested competition involving over 800 people in key economic sectors of agriculture, fashion and ICT.

"One-Village-One-Product (OVOP) is an initiative adopted by the agency to bring about economic empowerment on a massive scale whereby communities are visited and agricultural crops/products indigenous to these communities are identified and developed on a large scale for both domestic and international markets thus creating employment and bringing about economic empowerment to these communities. The project is ongoing with Shea-butter and Cassava as the focal produce, and its expected impact is the creation of 1000 jobs by 2017", he stressed.

The managing director noted that the agency developmental strides have impacted positively in that over 105 women trained on crop formation and shea quality improvement, 100 cassava farmers trained and counseled on business management, improved quality of shea butter and increase in sales.

Speaking on the CBN N220 billion Micro and Medium Enterprises Development Fund, MSMEDF, Mohammed revealed that the agency has successfully disbursed loans to the first batch of beneficiaries and currently in the process of disbursing to the second batch.

According to him, "For CBN- Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund. The agency in 2014 was selected to serve as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the disbursement of the CBN N220 billion Micro and Medium Enterprise Development Fund in the FCT. The agency has successfully disbursed loans to the first batch of beneficiaries and is currently in the process of disbursing to the second batch".

Mohammed called on the residents of the territory to tap into the resolving loans for economic empowerment, even as he called on the exhibitors to come out to showcase their talent in the forthcoming Abuja SME Expo holding on November 14-19, 2016 at the exhibition pavilion opposite Radio House, Abuja.

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