The advent of COVID-19 at the beginning of this year and the subsequent nation-wide lockdown took the business world by surprise. Several MSMEs were forced to shut down with millions of people losing their jobs.
The pandemic resulted in a need for MSMEs to function virtually to stay afloat, viable and competitive. However, the exclusionary nature of the Nigerian digital space made it challenging for several MSMEs to access the tools and platforms needed to facilitate business activities.
In August 2020, MTN introduced The Revv Programme to provide 10,000 MSMEs with masterclasses, advisory services, productivity support and access to new markets. Following the completion of the programme this month, a virtual closing ceremony held on Monday, December 14.
The Chief Enterprise and Business Officer, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, who presented the welcome address on behalf of the CEO stated, “When MSMEs thrive, the economy thrives. Our goal is to empower MSMEs in today’s digital economy.” She also revealed that the response from the public to register exceeded expectations. “We set a goal to train 10,000 MSMEs. 24,000 businesses registered for the Revv programme.”
The Chairman of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Chief Femi Pedro, delivering the keynote address, spoke to his interest in MSMEs and the efforts at SMEDAN.
“We have 1.7 million MSMEs registered on the SMEDAN platform and it is our wish that the knowledge gained as well as the opportunity to obtain grants from the government, will position businesses for better in the coming years.”
He thanked MTN for its contribution towards enabling MSMEs access the tools they need in today’s digital economy and implored the company to continue in its efforts on MSMEs.
The closing ceremony featured the recognition of the Y’ello 200, MSMEs selected from the Revv programme which MTN would empower with tools and awareness creation opportunities through exclusive access to a range of technology-enabled, productivity tools and services for six months.
Representatives from the Y’ello 200 expressed gratitude to MTN for the Revv Programme. A representative of Glisten International Academy, an educational institute based in Abuja who was announced as one of the Y’ello 200 said, “This programme has been enlightening and engaging. We thank MTN for putting this together.”
The Chief Financial Officer, MTN Nigeria, Modupe Kadri, in his congratulatory message to the Y’ello 200 assured them of MTN’s commitment towards supporting their businesses. “We will provide you with services and support for your digital needs,” he said
Also, the Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr Olukayode Pitan, gave the appreciatory remarks to panellists and contributors. “Supporting the growth of SMEs is one of the things MTN and BOI have in common. Thank you MTN for bringing your knowledge and industry to the masterclasses. BOI is always willing to partner to support SME growth.”
The closing remarks were given by the General Manager, Enterprise Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka. “We are excited by the success of The Revv programme and I have the honour to announce that this will now be a yearly initiative that is to become a part of MTN Nigeria’s value proposition to MSMEs.” She thanked all stakeholders including the Nigerian government, the facilitators of the masterclasses, MTN’s partners and the participants”, Ikenna-Emeka said.