In 2013, the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) established the CBN N220 billion MSME fund in recognition of the significant contributions of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector to the economy and reduce the existing financing gap in the sub-sector.
According to the nation’s apex bank, ten percent of the Fund has been devoted to developmental objectives such a grants, capacity building and administrative costs while ninety percent commercial component is to be released to Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) at 2% for on-lending to MSMEs at a maximum interest rate of 9% per annum. In simpler terms, eligible startups could assess the fund at an interest rate of 9% annually, a figure far less than the current 18% interest charged by most commercial banks.
This article examines some of the lucrative business opportunities in key sectors of the economy that entrepreneurs can look into, and create wealth through the CBN MSMEs fund.
At the moment, Nigeria does not produce enough food to feed itself and has remained a net importer of food for decades. With one of the world’s fastest growing populations, Nigerians spend billions of dollars every year importing basic food products to meet local demand and consumption. With an ever increasing population, agribusiness is more than likely to become a booming industry in subsequent years. In the words of John-Paul Iwuoha, “Food is a basic need and a matter of survival. It’s boom time for food businesses. You can hardly ever go wrong with food in Africa!”
The standard of education in many parts of Nigeria has deteriorated. Poor access to quality education from basic primary education to university is another serious and nagging problem across the nation. Because many Nigerians understand that education is one of the few bridges out of poverty, millions of poor families in the country are desperate to find good schools for their children. However, the good schools are not affordable for many people and the training facilities are not enough to cater to the needs of Nigeria’s large and rapidly growing population. If small businesses in the sector can offer affordable training programs, it will help close the education gap in the country.
The poor supply of power to support everyday needs is a serious challenge in many parts of Africa. Power supply is important for the growth and prosperity of any economy; and the convenience of our daily lives depend on it. Did you know that all the 40+ countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (except South Africa), with a combined population of more than 750 million people, generate roughly the same amount of electricity as Spain (a single country of less than 50 million people)? Although power can be capital intensive, there are abundant opportunities in the power sector for entrepreneurs who are willing to venture into the sector.
Besides from poor access to essential medications and vaccines, poor healthcare and malnutrition, Africa’s tropical climate favors the breeding of disease vectors. In addition to these factors, the rise of chronic diseases like heart attacks, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes is causing more deaths in Africa every year. The size of Africa’s pharmaceutical market is expected to reach nearly $45 billion by the year 2020 and this is an opportunity for Nigerian entrepreneurs to look into this sector.
Nigeria is losing its natural beauty and environment to different forms of degradation especially solid waste pollution. As the country becomes more urbanized and the purchasing power of the average Nigerian increases, more goods will be consumed leading to even more waste. The volume of waste generated is expected to double in the coming years as the size and population of its cities explode. Besides the heaps of waste generated by several cities across Nigeria, there is poor waste management which has also resulted in outbreaks of diseases. Entrepreneurs can leverage on proper recycling and waste management programs to make money, and also make the environment more eco-friendly in the long run.
Do you think your business idea can solve social problems in Nigeria while you create wealth?