Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor Muhammadou Kah, says governments, the private sector, civil society organizations (CSOs), and private investors, and social funds must revitalize Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
The occasion was the North-East Small Business Seminar and Financial Intervention Support held on October 5.
Prof Kah identified the strategies to be adequate and sustainable investments to provide access to sustainable capital targeted to support key activities and process improvements. This will remove the bottlenecks and obstacles of the SME and social entrepreneurs' value chains.
"When SMEs value chains are efficient and optimized, it opens up opportunities to scale, enhanced quality of products and services, attractiveness to investors and ease of access to capital or credit, provision of youth employment and access to broader markets and potential linkages to global value chains and wealth creation."
He said SMEs and social entrepreneurship contribute to the stability of our communities and country is often overlooked. He maintained that they are important for the prosperity of their households, provision of proximity and access to affordable products and services and more importantly daily consumables for our communities.
He added that universities have an important role to play to ensure that small and medium enterprises thrive.
At the event, 50 micro and small business owners in Yola-Jimeta, the university's host communities, received financial support from Zakat & Sadaqat Foundation, Lagos, through collaboration with the AUN Center for Entrepreneurship.
"We at AUN provide our intervention to revitalize and improve the value chains of SMEs and social entrepreneurship through our Business School's Center for Entrepreneurship."
Earlier on September 18, Provost Kah had participated in another high-level meeting of the Malabo Montpellier Panel at the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
He delivered a presentation on ‘Transforming Africa's Agriculture Value Chains as well as spoke on the panel's recent report ‘Byte to Byte: Policy Innovation for Transforming Africa's Food System with Digital Technologies'.
The event also involved the International Food Policy Research Institute, a key developer in the global agriculture ecosystem and value chain enhancements and strengthening through research and policy.
Provost Kah informed our team that he also used the medium to explore possible collaboration between the American University of Nigeria and IsDB.
The Malabo Montpellier Panel convenes a group of 17 leading experts in agriculture, ecology, nutrition, and food security to guide policy choices by African governments to accelerate the progress towards food security and improved nutrition.
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa