How To Know If Your Business Qualifies As A Small Business In Nigeria
To access government funding for small businesses in Nigeria, you must first determine qualifies you as a small
business owner in Nigeria because it involves considering various factors and criteria. Although there is no universally accepted definition, there are several indicators that can help identify small business ownership in Nigeria.
According to the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), small business owners are typically individuals who operate micro, small, or medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). These enterprises
are characterized by certain factors.
Understanding these factors can help individuals identify themselves as small
business owners and access the support and resources available for their growth and success in Nigeria’s thriving business environment.
Tips To Know If Your Business Is A Small Business In Nigeria
Here is a list of factors to identify a small business owner:
- Number of Employees: Small businesses in Nigeria usually have a limited number of employees. SMEDAN classifies micro-enterprises as those employing up to 10 people, small enterprises as those with 11 to 50 employees, and medium enterprises as those with 51 to 200 employees.
- Annual Turnover: One way to determine if a business is considered small is by looking at its annual turnover or revenue. The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has set specific financial thresholds to classify businesses based on their turnover. For instance, micro-enterprises have an annual turnover of less than N5 million, small enterprises have a turnover between N5 million and N500 million, and medium enterprises have a turnover between N500 million and N1 billion.
- Capital Investment: The amount of capital invested in a business is also taken into account when determining its classification as a small business Micro-enterprises usually have lower capital investment, while small and medium enterprises tend to have higher levels of investment. However, the specific capital thresholds may vary depending on the industry and regulatory guidelines.
- Legal Structure: The legal structure of a business can also impact its classification as a small business. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and certain types of registered companies may be considered small businesses based on their size, turnover, and sector.
Sector and Industry: Specific criteria for classifying small businesses may vary across different sectors and industries. For example, the Nigerian government has identified certain sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and services, as priority areas for small business development. In these sectors, businesses with certain characteristics may receive preferential treatment, such as access to funding or tax incentives.
Characteristics of Small Business Owners in Nigeria
Here are some common characteristics often associated with small business owners in Nigeria:
1. Entrepreneurial Spirit
Small business owners in Nigeria typically possess an entrepreneurial spirit, demonstrating a strong drive,
passion, and willingness to take risks. They are often motivated by the desire to create something new, solve a problem, or seize an opportunity.
2. Ownership and Management
Small business owners in Nigeria often have sole proprietorships or are part of a family-owned business. They are in charge of overseeing the operations, finances, marketing, and human resources departments, among other areas of the company.
3. Limited Resources
Small business owners in Nigeria often face financial limitations and rely on personal savings, loans, or investments from family and friends to start and grow their businesses. Despite these constraints, they are skilled at managing resources efficiently and finding innovative solutions to overcome financial challenges.
Small business owners in Nigeria must be adaptable to thrive in the ever-changing business landscape. They regularly encounter obstacles such as shifting market conditions, regulatory requirements, and economic fluctuations. Successful small business owners can swiftly adjust their strategies and operations to remain competitive and relevant.
5. Customer Focus
Small business owners in Nigeria recognize the significance of cultivating strong relationships with their customers. They prioritize customer satisfaction by offering personalized service and ensuring exceptional customer experiences. This commitment helps them maintain a loyal customer base.
6. Building Resilience and Perseverance
Small business owners in Nigeria face various challenges, such as limited access to capital, infrastructure constraints, and regulatory hurdles. To succeed in this environment, they need to possess resilience, perseverance, and a strong belief in their business vision.
7. Embracing Continuous Learning
Successful small business owners in Nigeria understand the significance of continuous learning and self-improvement. They stay updated on industry trends, acquire knowledge and skills through workshops, seminars, and networking events, and are open to adopting new technologies and practices to enhance their business operations.
8. Engaging with the Community
Small business owners in Nigeria actively engage with their communities. They contribute to local development, support social causes, and participate in community events, fostering goodwill and building strong relationships within their localities.
It is important to note that these characteristics may vary among small business owners in Nigeria, as each entrepreneur brings unique experiences, skills, and traits to their business ventures.