We have over 37 million SMEs in Nigeria which means that these businesses are essential to the economy. How do these SMEs thrive? One of the best ways is to become part of SME associations in Nigeria. Becoming a part of SME associations comes with several benefits. The most important of all is that they provide a platform for small businesses to thrive.
Defining SME Associations
SME Association is also known as the Small Business Association. A small business association is an organisation that gathers business owners within a specific sector or field. They could be National, State, or Locally based. Small business associations as also known as membership organisations for small businesses that support their interests and promote growth. They perform several activities that would ordinarily be time-consuming and costly for a single business. Examples of such activities include research, setting standards, and lobbying to mention a few. There are so many benefits of being a member of an SME Association in Nigeria.
SME Associations in Nigeria
National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME)
This association was established in 1996 to help in coordinating and promoting MSMEs in Nigeria. It is no secret that SMEs in Nigeria have so much potential; however, they need a platform to thrive. This organisation is designed to lift the fortunes of SMEs within the country. There is no sectorial restriction, so businesses from all sectors can become members of this organisation. Some of the benefits of becoming a member of the NASME include:
a. Access to a reliable platform that fosters the commercialisation of research findings.
b. The opportunity to increase client-base and raise market share due to the large membership of the NASME.
c. Improved investment decisions and product development because of the extensive SME database.
d. Access to a broad audience for testing the viability of products.
e. Enjoying credit referral from the NASME to aid access to loans.
Click here to learn more about the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME).
Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI)
This organisation has existed for over four decades as it was established in 1978. Though it has branches in every State, there are four Zonal Offices of NASSI. It admits business owners who are into manufacturing, mining, processing, and service delivery. NASSI also accepts businesses that have their capital investment in the small scall industry. The aims of establishing this organisation include:
a. To create and foster the exchange of ideas relevant to the development of SMEs in Nigeria.
b. Acting as the intermediary between government, government institutions, NGOs, and SMEs. This will promote the existence and growth of small scale industries within the country.
c. To create a database for easy access to reliable information by its member business.
d. Provide and facilitate access to credit for its member businesses.
e. Consult with foreign agencies to help in developing SMEs in Nigeria.
This SME Association in Nigeria also has a women wing that encourages female entrepreneurs. There are two broad groups under NASSI; they are:
a. Service Group Activities
b. Manufacturing and Mining Processing Group.
Learn more about the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).
Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria (ASBON)
This is one of the most popular SME Associations in Nigeria. The organisation was established to provide assistance to SMEs in Nigeria and ensure their growth. It provides support to these businesses in different capacities depending on the need of the business. Some of the benefits of becoming a member of ASBON include:
a. Access to government support since the organisation acts as an intermediary between SMEs and the Federal Government.
b. A vast network of other SMEs which means a better reach for each member.
c. Access to research materials.
d. Financial support and credit referral.
The headquarters of ASBON is located at Grafil House, No.33, Abeokuta Street, Anifowose (Opposite Computer Village), Anifowose, Ikeja, Lagos.
Other SME Associations in Nigeria that you should know include:
a. National Fish and Frozen Food Dealers Workers Association of Nigeria
b. National Shea Products Association of Nigeria (NSPAN)
c. Scrap Dealer Association of Nigeria (SDAN)
d. Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN)
e. Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
Benefits of joining an SME Association in Nigeria
There are so many benefits that SMEs in Nigeria can enjoy from becoming members of small business associations.
SME Associations have extensive memberships. As a result of this increased presence, you can widen your business scope. These associations make it very easy to market your products. How is this possible? They help to make your brand more visible in your locality and industry.
When you join a small business association, you open the door to accessing more businesses in your class. Of course, these businesses offer different services, even though they are similar to yours. However, you can always call on them when you need help at different levels.
Access to research materials and other services
Carrying out market research by yourself may cost you a lot. However, business associations are always carrying research on behalf of their members. All you need to do is to request for research results. You also gain access to several services at subsidised prices.
To be a member of an SME Association in Nigeria, you must have gone through several verification processes. As a result, you gain a status of credibility which many customers look out for. This credibility also comes in handy when seeking loans from financial institutions.
SMEs in Nigeria can enjoy several benefits from becoming members of SME Associations in Nigeria. We have shown you some of the popular associations. There are several smaller ones within your locality. Join one to begin enjoying these benefits today.