MTN Nigeria has announced the start of The Revv Programme to mitigate against the effects of COVID-19 on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
In line with the digital economy drive of the government as espoused in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which is closely linked to empowering SMEs as an avenue for the diversification of the economy, The Revv Programme seeks to address major macro level issues specifically in the areas of re-igniting the economy and driving digital inclusion for SMEs.
Adopting a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives, The Revv Programme seeks to help SMEs relearn, rethink and retool their businesses for growth in the emerging digital economy.
Working with relevant stakeholders, subject-matter experts and the company’s executives, the programme will support over 10,000 SMEs beginning with masterclasses for digital literacy, business management and execution abilities necessary to accelerate the growth of their businesses.
The masterclasses which will be delivered by MTN executives along with industry experts will focus on various core areas of business management, as part of a broader strategy to uplift small businesses.
This will be followed by the selection of The Y’ello 200 (Two hundred top-performing SMEs at the sessions) that will enjoy exclusive access to a broad range of technology and productivity tools and services absolutely free, for a period of six months.
They will also receive productivity support that will enhance their business performance, in addition to access to MTN’s media assets for product marketing, which will open up new market opportunities for business growth and expansion.
The programme also seeks to provide medium-term guidance for small business owners through a structured business advisory arrangement from industry experts.
Over the past five years, small businesses in Nigeria have contributed an estimated 48% to the national GDP.
In addition, SMEs account for about 96% of the total number of businesses in the country and employ 84% of the local workforce in Nigeria according to 2017 data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
For the SME sector, a lot has changed since the lockdown as necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic; resulting in an unprecedented economic tailspin, which has further affected both small businesses and large organisations, drastically decreased consumer spending, and affected jobs and people’s livelihood.
The Revv Programme is expected to help small businesses re-start economic activities and position them for accelerated growth.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the programme, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Patanmi commended MTN Nigeria for supporting the digital economy drive of the country.
“As stakeholders in the public and private sector it is our collective responsibility to implement the digital economy initiative of the government. I am glad that MTN has been supportive of this policy and is organizing The Revv Programme, which I believe will go a long way in transforming Nigerian entrepreneurs, most especially those in the Micro and Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector.”
Also commenting, the honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo stated that there is a nexus between his ministry’s efforts in developing the MSME space and MTN’s The Revv Programme, which aim to “focus mainly on MSMEs and address the foundational digital needs as well as other skills such businesses need to develop; these include access to information, infrastructure, funding and new markets.”
The Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman, while thanking the ministers for their support said the initiative seeks to provide support to SMEs as they continue to lead Nigeria’s growth.
“We believe that at this time when many businesses are at their most vulnerable and with a rapidly changing business environment, it is important that alongside the Federal Government, other businesses strongly position themselves to support SMEs as a foundation to the growth of a stronger economy going into 2021 and beyond. MTN has always spearheaded programmes to uplift small and medium businesses in Nigeria. The Revv Programme is our way of standing with SMEs in their journey to rise through these challenging times. We are positive this will assist them with the digital skill sets necessary to continue to thrive,” Moolman said.
Since the advent of the coronavirus, MTN – in tune with its “We are good together” (WAGT) initiative, has positioned a number of support measures and initiatives for consumers.
The company has supported government agencies like the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), front-line health workers and other levels of government to navigate the challenges occasioned by the pandemic.