By Philip Yatai
The Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA) says it has provided business development and support services to 4,224 women entrepreneurs in the past five years.
Mr Chudi Ugwuada-Ezirigwe, the acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, disclosed this during an end of year media briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
Ugwuada-Ezirigwe said that as a matter of policy, 70 per cent of the agency’s services, activities, and programmes were targeted at women and youths.
He said that the support was in line with the agency’s mandate to create wealth and alleviate poverty.
He added that considering Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as key drivers of economic growth and development, the agency also created 13,678 jobs and funded 4,761 businesses within the period under review.
He added that the agency equally created 3,868 enterprises, sensitised and promoted 9,557 entrepreneurs, grew 7,327 enterprises, and built the capacities of 1,962 entrepreneurs in FCT.
Ugwuada-Ezirigwe also said that the AEA has provided 1,460 entrepreneurs with requisite business development, and support services.
“These services range across subjects that have to do with mentorship, coaching and indeed regulatory support of different types.
“We have conducted a number of rural outreach programmes to provide business support services to a total of 3,691 entrepreneurs and their businesses in the six Area Councils.
“For us as an agency of the FCT Administration, we pride ourselves to say that as a matter of policy, 70 per cent of our services are targeted at the rural areas cutting across the six Area Councils of the FCT,” he said.
He also said that the agency had fostered dialogue and interactive sessions between SME’s and regulatory organisations through its one-stop shop.
He said that 16 regulatory agencies, including Standard Organisation of Nigeria, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and Federal Internal Revenue Services among others were stationed at the agency offering services.
“What it means is that if you enter the agency’s complex, you can start and finish your business registration without having to go to CAC or pay any lawyer or attorney,” he added.
The acting MD said that the agency would strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem, synergy, coordination and enhance access to investment and sectoral intervention. (NAN)
Edited by Emanuel Yashim