Starrys Obazei/November 10, 2022.
Lagos State Government has concluded plans to launch a franchise framework development initiative for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
The government explained that the program is designed towards expanding the frontiers of the local market in line with the government’s efforts to upscale the growth of entrepreneurship in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond.
She noted that the fair evolved out of the need to strengthen the existing public-private business ecosystem with the aim of developing the sub-sector.
“Out of the need to strengthen the existing public-private business ecosystem to develop the sub-sector, Lagos State Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment in partnership with Franchisors and Distributors Forum will be launching an initiative tagged: Franchising as an Investment Alternative in Lagos State: A Capacity Building for 300 Lagos MSMEs”. she affirmed.
She revealed that the program is targeting MSMEs in the classic franchise domains including products manufacturing, services, food and drinks, health and wellness and other personal care services, professional services, investors/commercial banks, cooperative societies, media as well as other MSMEs and individuals within the value chains.
The special adviser stated that the pilot scheme, which is designed to expose 300 MSMEs to the franchise business system, would support these Lagos-based franchises to develop their unique franchise model and help them get investment-ready.
According to her, there would also be a periodic financing forum for both franchisors and franchisees to help deepen opportunities to collaborate.
“Part of the plan is to identify 20 MSMEs with the strong potential of growing between five outlets in the first year and 10 in the next 30 months and then provide the structure and franchise growth support including various intellectual property registrations,” she revealed.
Hammond, who explained that the business model is crucial to job creation, economic diversification, creativity, and income redistribution, stated that the state has shown tremendous interest in helping SMEs get access to affordable financial and other institutional support they need to create wealth and employment for the youth.
In her words: “Lagos being the hub of micro, small and medium enterprises MSMEs in the west coast, with a concentration of 3,224,324 micro operators and over 11, 663 SMEs operators will benefit from this business model as part of efforts towards building an inclusive economy”.
Remarking that there is a need for a fair platform for partnerships and linkages between operators and government agencies to discover innovations and opportunities that would boost the economy, she said the simplicity of franchising makes it an excellent way to unleash the growth potential of MSMEs.
“There are great prospects for franchising to contribute to the development of entrepreneurship, create more jobs, develop more rapid training and skill development, improve the quality of business, improve the ethical climate of the domestic business, build brand equity for Lagos businesses, help companies become more investable, gain development of new technologies of small business, among other salient benefits”, she said.
Speaking on the criteria for selection, the special adviser stated that aside from having been in operation for 24 months with sound management prospects, the MSMEs must have the potential for attracting investors/franchisees with a progressive annual revenue. They must also, of course, be based in Lagos and ready to expand around and beyond the state.
Hammond pointed out that the initiative would enhance the rightful role of SMEs in wealth and job creation, poverty reduction, and stimulate the growth of the domestic economy, as this administration was committed to building a 21st-century economy.
“We are optimistic that franchising would be a useful tool in delivering our economic goals as a state, as it offers a viable model to develop MSMEs in Lagos,” she asserted.