The Public and Private sectors are interdependent and achieving sustainable economic development can be done by working together and collaborating in delivering programs and initiatives targeted at growth and economic development. Lagos State has a rapidly growing number of Small and Medium scale businesses (SMEs) which contribute significantly to economic growth and development. However, these businesses face many challenges which hinder growth and profitability. Lagos has numerous support services for SMEs, however, there is an increased need for UPSCALING of activities and programs via partnerships and synergy. This proposal seeks to introduce a software application that will support small and medium-scale enterprises in Lagos State to effectively manage their operations, thus improving productivity, reducing waste and increasing profitability and overall economic performance.
Statement of Problem/Challenges
Increased Migration of youthful Labour:
The JAPA Syndrome is a menace that requires purposeful actions and intentional steps to promote better business environment in Nigeria in general by making Lagos a state of destination of bright minds as well as SMEs
Poor Access to Markets:
SMEs in Lagos face stiff competition from large and established businesses making it difficult for them to access markets and generate sales.
Lack of Access to Finance: Access to finance is a major challenge for most SMEs in Lagos tate and this makes it difficult for them to expand their businesses and take advantage of growth opportunities.
The regulatory framework in Lagos is such that SMEs are poorly informed and are unable to effectively function within the environment. This adds to their operational costs and reduces the ease of doing business.
High cost of doing business:
The huge operational costs of doing business in Lagos is a challenge to SMEs with factors such as high rents, electricity tariffs and cost of transportation. Small businesses are reluctant to invest in growth, training and rely on few customers. Such actions portends barriers to growth and economic development.
Lagos is a bubbling city and the economic hub of Nigeria with a population of over 20 million people. This makes it a fertile ground for SMEs to thrive with inherent potentials capable of creating business opportunities across sectors of the economy such as Agriculture, Services,
Trade, Manufacturing, Construction & Real Estates, Information & Communication technology, Food & Beverages, Fashion Industry as well as retail & wholesale business. The development of SMEs has the potential to support socio-economic development through job creation thus reducing unemployment, income generation, GDP contribution, innovation, poverty reduction and importation. According to available data up to 90% of businesses in
Lagos state are SMEs, employing about 84% of the workforce and contributing 48% to the state`s GDP.
Innovation and creativity which SMEs are known to possess, have potentials to develop several new products and services which can improve the standard of living in a society, leading to the
development of several new industries and growth of existing ones. This contributes to poverty reduction, income generation as well as reduction in social vices. Lagos as a state has contributed towards the national GDP of Nigeria, through its numerous efforts to promote entrepreneurship and provide support services for SMEs. However, there is an urgent need for up scaling of efforts through increased partnerships as well as synergy with
creative business to support the long term of a better Lagos which will ultimately lead to a better Nigeria.
- Streamlined Business Operations: EKOEARN will help SMEs to manage their financial,
inventory, sales and customer information from one platform making it easier to access
- Increased Efficiency and Productivity: EKOEARN will automate routine tasks, allowing
businesses to focus on core activities and improve their productivity which will translate
to Increased Revenue.
- Improved Decision Making: By providing detailed reports and analytics, it will help
businesses make informed decisions regarding financial, inventory, sales and customer
- Cost Effective: EKOEARN will help businesses save time and money by reducing the
need for manual tracking and management of various business processes.
- Improved Customer Retention: The improved customer service and management
features of EKOEARN software will lead to increased customer loyalty and repeat
Benefits to Lagos State Government
It is imperative to note that the specific economic benefits of the EKOEARN software application will depend on a variety of factors, including the number and size of businesses that adopt the application, the specific features and functionality of the software and the broader economic environment in Lagos State. Therefore, we will present some benefits based on statistical data that the Lagos State Government will experience through the adoption of the EKOEARN software application.
- Increased tax revenue: As SMEs become more profitable and expand with the help of EKOEARN software application, this will lead to increased tax revenue for the Lagos State Government. According to Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, the state government generated N398.7 billion in revenue in 2021 with a target to generate N924 billion in 2023. An increase in the number and size of profitable SMEs will contribute to this target. Improved economic growth and development: The EKOEARN software application will contribute to the growth and development of businesses in Lagos State. According to data from the Lagos Bureau of Statistics (LBS), the Gross Domestic Product of Lagos State was N26.59 trillion in 2021 (making up to 30% of Nigeria`s total GDP). Improved productivity, efficiency and profitability of businesses will contribute to the state`s overall economic growth and development.
- Improved employment opportunities: The EKOEARN software application will support the growth and expansion of businesses in Lagos State, which will lead to increased job creation and employment opportunities. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in Lagos State was 37.14% in 2022. Improved business growth and job creation will help reduce unemployment rate in the State.
- Improved ease of doing business ranking: Lagos State has made efforts to improve its ranking in the World Bank`s Ease of Doing Business survey. Improved technology adoption, such as EKOEARN application will contribute to improved rankings in the future. In 2020, the state also ranked 1st in the Starting a Business indicator, indicating a potential opportunity for the EKOEARN software application to support new business formation and registration.