By Ayo Ajayi
In order for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive and be sustainable, the Regional Centre of Expertise, RCE Ogun in conjunction with Covenant University and Zenith Bank on Thursday, organised one-day ‘Workshop on Financial Literacy for Sustainable Business’ at Covenant University, Ota.
While speaking on the purpose of the event, the Chair, Local Organising Committee, Dr. Abiola Babajide stated that RCE, being a sustainable development goals educator was out to teach small business owners how to be financially literate, grow and sustain their businesses.
“It is not enough to have a business; you must run your outfit in a sustainable manner in order for you to get the support of financial institutions and the government. They must be sure that your business is considerate to the environment, the people you are working with and on top of it all, you must make a profit,” she explained.
Babajide explained further that lots of people are poor not only because they earn a low income, but they lack the capacity to manage what they earn. The purpose of financial literacy, she said, was to open the eyes of small business owners to the opportunities that are available within the financial systems in terms of savings, how to use credit efficiently, how to use insurance to sustain their businesses, how to plan their future with pension and how to separate themselves from their business income.
“For instance, the parameter for measuring the sustainability of the business has changed and people need to know that. So for a small mechanic workshop, it is not enough for you to do your business, but you must dispose your used oil in a way that is friendly to the environment and be considerate to the people you are working with. The people you are working with can be your customers and employees. They must have a fair bargain, and on top of it all, you must make a profit. It is when you have done all these that we can say your business is sustainable.”
Babajide noted that the group and its partners would continuously educate small business owners, in order to run their business in such a way that it would outlive them.
The workshop, facilitated by experts from all walks of life, featured personal finance for SME business owners; sustainable business criteria for credit acquisition; portfolio diversification/selection and management for sustainable business outfits; financial management for sustainable business; improving organisational competitiveness through micro-insurance for sustainable credit development in Nigeria; as well as recent developments in SMEs funding.
Certificates were also awarded to about 400 participants.