GoOnline Nigeria has announced the imminent roll-out of its business growth programme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Nigeria to equip the ecosystem lead competitiveness in the Digital Age.
GoOnline Nigeria is a business growth programme for SMEs in Nigeria delivered by an alliance of Programme Partners and SME Growth Drivers across the technology, Internet, payments, financial services, media and allied industries.
Mr Foluso Busari, Executive Director of GoOnline Nigeria announced at a stakeholders’ retreat held in Lagos on Saturday that the programme will aggregate Nigerian entrepreneurs and SMEs to lead and unlock business innovation, efficiency, competitiveness and profitability in the Digital Age.
GoOnline Nigeria is a 360-degree programme delivered in three key modules: Get Online, Grow Online and Succeed Online for SMEs across Nigeria to sell profitably on the Internet, while the official portal on www.goonline.ng has also been opened to the Internet community.
According to him, GoOnline Nigeria Programme Partners representing SME Growth Drivers in the technology, banking and financial services, media and other sectors have partnered with a shared vision to unlock entrepreneurial possibilities that foster innovation, job creation and overall economic growth across the SME ecosystem in Nigeria.
According to him, “SMEs are a very important component of the Nigerian economy and are regarded as engine of sustainable growth. SMEs also hold potentials to contribute higher proportion to GDP in Nigeria with targeted initiatives like GoOnline Nigeria to unlock potentials in the sector and build a stronger SME sector. Consistent commitment to the development of strong SMEs sector can be unlocked by implementing initiatives like access to finance and financial incentives; basic and technological infrastructure and a commitment to building domestic expertise and knowledge.”
The GoOnline Programme Director also identified that the Nigerian SME ecosystem is very well positioned today with increasing telephony subscriptions and penetration across the country, which is also driving Internet access among a growing population of Connected Nigerians.
Official market information by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) puts the telephony connections at 153,514,107 lines and Internet subscribers at 93,176,061 as at October 2016, “a trend that has enabled easier access to the Internet and social media services, he added.
Mr Busari also said that “the growing access is enabling easier channels for customer acquisition and retention as the Internet marketplace offers services that connect SMEs directly with customers.”
He stressed further that, “within the Nigerian macroeconomic environment, several initiative like the Local Content Policy, “Buy Nigeria” will further help SMEs harness compelling growth potential and like other emerging economies, are likely to constitute a significant portion of GDP in the near future.”
According to the Programme Director of GoOnline Nigeria, “our vision is to provide 21st Century IT and business resources for Nigerian entrepreneurs and SMEs to lead business innovation, business competitiveness and profitability in the Digital Age. GoOnline Nigeria will be sustainable into the foreseeable future by evolving SMEs that will be agile, sustainable, efficient, innovative and profitable by embracing the Internet for business.”
Under the plan, Mr Busari said that the GoOnline Business Growth Programme will be delivered for the following demographics:
- SMEs that have no Internet presence at all and wish to start selling their goods and services online.
- SMEs that already have a website but are not recording online sales.
- SMEs that sell online on third-party Markeplaces but do not have their own websites.
- Market clusters across Nigeria with identified opportunities to embrace Internet to achieve business scale, operational efficiency and profitability.
- Small businesses planning to open their own micro-enterprise or already run their own small business.
- Entrepreneurs interested in business but may or may not be familiar with basic business concepts.
- Entrepreneurs that use some technology in their business or for personal purposes but do not maximize the use of technology in managing their business.
- Entrepreneurs interested in learning how Internet and ICT tools can help them run their business.
- Entrepreneurs interested in brief, practical and relevant hands-on training on Internet for Business.
- Entrepreneurs interested in learning, exchanging ideas and networking with other entrepreneurs.
According to the GoOnline Programmes Director, the first phase will involve provision of affordable web presence bundling free Nigeria .ng Internet domain name, website, web hosting, telecoms starter kits for SMEs, e-commerce, CRM and other business management tools.
“This phase will demystify the Internet and other online business platforms for small business and provide affordable and effective websites to gain and retain new customers and also target online communities, demographics and market opportunities across the local Internet community”, Mr Busari explained.
Stage Two on Grow Online will provide SMEs across Nigeria with 21st Century IT and business skills for entrepreneurs to lead business innovation, operational efficiency, business competitiveness and profitability in the Digital Age.
This phase of the programme will incorporate targeted trainings, workshops and seminars spread over a one year cycle of monthly learning experiences to offer partner SMEs the needed skills and competence to gain and retain customers by leveraging the Internet.
According to Mr Busari, “more importantly, this phase also enable partner SMEs and merchants to unlock value propositions available from GoOnline Programme Partners and SMEs Growth Drivers to grow their businesses.”
This phased programme will feature online business communities, Monthly Learning & Networking Experiences, Quarterly and Annual Online as well as Physical Showcase Events, according to the GoOnline Nigeria Programmes Director.
“We are positive that GoOnline Nigeria will be the next wave for SMEs in Nigeria by creating a sustainable path to accelerate online revenue growth and profitability. The Programme will enable SMEs across Nigeria generate higher percentage of revenues from Internet storefronts to complement their physical storefronts”, Mr Busari added.