A non-profit making organisation, MSME Crowd Funding Foundation, Nigeria, on Thursday unveiled a website `Fundanenterprise.org.’ to raise funds and grants to support start-up, micro, small and medium sized enterprise.
Mr Magnus Nmonwu, a Trustee of the foundation, said the website was owned and operated by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Crowd Funding Foundation.
Nmonwu said at the official launch in Lagos that crowd funding was the practice of raising funds, capital or money for a project, business in small amounts from a large number of people, especially through the internet.
He said that it was also an alternative means of raising funds without going to the bank or financial institution.
“In Nigeria, the potential for crowd funding are untapped, inexhaustible and yet to be fully embraced, in spite of its successes as funding alternative in other countries.
“We, however, believe that with huge investment in education and stronger regulations in crowd funding activities, Nigeria would be on the path to crowd funding revolution, like in other notable fields of the economy.
“It is a known fact that MSMEs are the drivers or backbones of world economies.
“There are about 50 million SMEs, 100 million internet users and 120 million mobile phone users in Nigeria.
“MSMEs employ about 60 million people as at January 2014 which contributed to about 48 per cent or N38 trillion of Nigerians GDP and seven per cent of export earnings,’’ Nmonwu said.
He said that with all the natural resources that abound in Nigeria, it has yet to meet the basic needs of the citizens.
Nmonwu said that with the recent ratings of Nigeria as one of the poorest countries in the world, it was high time to start supporting one another in the little way to eradicate poverty.
He said that the platform would not only provide funds for start-ups, small and growing business, but also change the way Nigerians and the world support business operations.
“We plan to build the biggest network of entrepreneurial hub and act as the voice needed to change the landscape (policies and regulation) and challenge the status quo in favour of MSMEs.
“Our mission through www.fundanenterprise.org is to lighten the burden of doing business in Nigeria and help build, as many as possible, thriving enterprises or businesses in and beyond.
“By doing this, we believe we will support jobs creation and help improve the standard of living of Nigerians and the economy by extension.
“MSMEs in Nigeria are confronted with a number of issues, which include funding or access to funds to start or scale.
“www.fundanenterprise.org is a bridge to this gap and is here to serve as an alternative funding source for start-up, micro, small and medium enterprises,’’ Nmonwu said.
He urged the MSMEs and initiators of creative ideas to look at the alternative sources of funding and consequently, tap into the internet to solicit donations to sustain and expand their ideas.