27 June 2018 was the first official United Nations’ observance of the Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day. On this day, UN celebrated the contributions of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) as key drivers and backbone of many economies worldwide, especially in developing countries. MSMEs are first responders to societal needs and they drive inclusive growth and development.

To mark this day, TACT held the SME Sustainability & Growth Conference, with the theme SME Formalization & Financing at the Zone Tech Park, Plot 9, Gbagada Industrial Scheme, Lagos. 72 SMEs attended the event.


Click here to read the conference communique.


The SME Sustainability & Growth Conference  facilitated a much needed conversation between government and solution providers in banking, development finance, business consultants, and SMEs, to foster collaboration and growth.

The event provided an opportunity for

  • Engagement between policy-makers and SMEs on challenges and required interventions
  • Development Finance Institutions to enlighten SMEs on accessing their financing windows
  • Development Partners & Consulting firms to train SMEs on formalization and sustainable business practices that enhance survival and growth
  • Investors and donors to publicize capital funding and grand opportunities to SMEs
  • Commercial Financial Institutions to showcase affordable financial services to SMEs




MSMEs are a major force for poverty alleviation as they represent a larger share of employment in rural areas and for the vulnerable, such as women, youth, and people from poorer households. They are an important element in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure). It is for these reasons that the day is set aside by the UN to raise public awareness about MSMEs’ contribution to development.


MSMEs are of critical importance in Nigeria’s development context.  They contribute approximately 48.47% of GDP and employ over 84% of Nigeria’s workforce (SMEDAN/NBS, 2013), but they also face many challenges for sustainability and growth. 


Access to finance is often cited as a primary obstacle to SMEs; a large proportion of formal SMEs do not have access to loans, while informal ones have more difficulty accessing basic financial services. Thus, opportunities exist for financial services providers and policy makers to intervene for resource mobilization and allocation, and development support in the sector. This would help buoy job creation, economic growth, and social development.

Participating institutions include Lagos Business School’s Sustainability Centre,  Enterprise Development Centre, PwC Nigeria, What Now, Coach?, Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Fate Foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation, and Workforce Group.


Founders of Lifebank and Flying Doctors Nigeria were also at the conference to share their experiences as entrepreneurs.The conference was an opportunity for an important conversation between SME ecosystem stakeholders.

L-R: Adedeji Adebisi (Deputy Director, Development Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria), Yemi Adesanya (Co-Founder, TACT), Amechi Akwari (SME Funds Department, Bank of Industry), Nneka Okekearu (Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre), Charles Anyanwu (Head, SME, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund), Yemi Ajala (Journalist, Writer, Conference Compere)

Foluso Aribisala - Partner, Workforce Group

Nneka Okekearu - Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre

Temie Giwa-Tubosun - Founder/CEO, Lifebank Nigeria

Stephanie Onwunali - Chief Experience Officer, What Next, Coach?

L-R: Yemi Ajala (Journalist, Writer, Conference Compere), Stephanie Onwunali (Chief Experience Officer, What Next, Coach?, Taiwo Oyedele, (Partner and West Africa Tax Leader, PwC Nigeria), Yemi Adesanya (Co-Founder, TACT), Foluso Aribisala (Partner, Workforce Group), Nneka Okekearu (Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre)

Yinka Fisher - SMEDAN Coordinator, Lagos State

Yinka Ogunnubi - Financial Analyst and Author

Olusegun Alimi (Scale Lead, FATE Foundation) and Yinka Ogunnubi (Financial Analyst and Author)

Dr. Ola Brown - Founder/CEO of Flying Doctors Nigeria

Tola A. Johnson - Special Assistant on MSMEs to The Vice President

Adedeji Adebisi (Deputy Director, Development Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria), Habeeb Gbenle (Investment Analyst, Wennovation Hub), Temie Giwa-Tubosun (Founder/CEO, Lifebank), Yinka Fisher (SMEDAN Coordinator, Lagos State), Charles Anyanwu (Head SME, Lagos State Employment Trust Funds), Yemi Adesanya (Co-Founder, TACT), Yinka Ogunnubi (Financial Analyst and Author), Yemi Ajala (Journalist & Writer, Conference Compere) Yemi Ajala (Journalist, Writer, Conference Compere)

Habeeb Gbenle - Investment Analyst, Wennovation Hub

Folarin Ayegbusi - Business Information Specialist, Tony Elumelu Foundation

Amechi Akwari - SME Funds, Bank of Industry

Adedeji Adebisi - Deputy Director, Development Finance Department, Central Bank of Nigeria

Charles Anyanwu - Head, SME, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund

Some of the participants at the SME Conference 2018

Click here to see more photos from the conference.

Preparation is already on for the 2019 edition of the conference.

For participation and sponsorship information, send us an email at Or call 0812 551 8612.