Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
The cumbersome requirements of the public procurement process have been identified as a major constraint limiting the participation of many small business operators in government contracts.
This is one of the findings of a report released on Wednesday entitled: ‘Tech Entrepreneurship Ecosystems Research – Nigeria’.
The report, commissioned by Google, in collaboration with Ventures Platform Research, provides in-depth analysis of the key trends and challenges faced by local technology entrepreneurs, and suggests policy recommendations for addressing these challenges.
Specifically, the report explained that the requirements for a three-year financial audit, tax certificates and minimum number of years of experience were major challenges for start-ups looking to participate in government tenders.
It called on the Federal Government to review the regulations inhibiting the growth of technology start-ups as this was vital to supporting the growth of the sector.
Speaking during the unveiling of the report, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, said such studies were critical for innovation and developing new policies.
She stated that the Federal Government was aware of many of the challenges facing small businesses in Nigeria, adding that policies were being formulated to address them.
Abubakar said, “We see the creativity and ingenuity of our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and believe that with the right enabling environment, they can thrive and prosper.
“Operating optimally, MSMEs can effectively utilise our local raw materials, generate employment, encourage rural development and stimulate entrepreneurship, thereby creating wealth.
“The importance of research into the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem cannot be over-emphasised as it will provide policymakers with the tools to manage and leverage digital disruption.”
Also speaking at the launch, Google Policy and Government Relations Lead, Titi Akinsanmi, noted that a thriving digital economy was vital to support the development of the economy.
She said, “While the technology ecosystem in Nigeria is fast gaining momentum, local technology start-ups struggle with scaling-up their work due to social and policy structures.
“Providing informed and independent research like this helps to educate stakeholders on the challenges and how they can be addressed.”
According to the research, concentrating on stimulating market potential, improving the skill set of Nigeria’s youths, making sustained early stage funding available, and reviewing regulations that inhibit the growth of technology start-ups will support the growth of the sector.
The Programme Director, Ventures Platform Foundation, Mimshach Obioha, stated that the Nigerian tech ecosystem needed a lot of support as it was still in its infancy.
He added, “The first step to creating meaningful and impactful solutions and policies lies in understanding how the ecosystem runs.
“This research gives us the opportunity to take that first step. Experts in the tech community, including the government, have a crucial and deliberate role to play in supporting the emergence and growth of digital entrepreneurs.”
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.