*Allocates 16% to tech startups
By Yinka Kolawole
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) said it has successfully disbursed N4.1 billion loans to 4,762 applicants as at the end of 2017, even as it has provided 16 percent of its allocation to tech startups.
Figures obtained from LSETF shows that a total of N4.9 billion loans were approved for disbursement to 6,548 applicants out of which N4.1 billion was actually disbursed to 4,762 applicants.
A breakdown of allocation of the approved loans revealed that N1.99 billion loans have been approved to applicants in the Micro Enterprises (ME) category, out of which N61 million has been disbursed to trained applicants to start-up their own micro enterprises. For businesses operating within the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) space, N2.91 billion was approved.
The beneficiaries of the loan scheme created 3,180 jobs across different sectors as at end of last year, according to LSETF.
Meanwhile, after the successful launch of the MSME loan scheme, LSETF in December 2017 commenced program of initiatives to support technology-based entrepreneurship and tech startups in Lagos State, with the launch of Lagos Innovates, a set of programs aimed at making it easier to build a successful tech startup in the state.
“The funding of tech startups in the LSETF scheme has enabled the Lagos State government to participate actively through investment in the local ICT market. LSETF has provided 16 percent of its allocation to tech startups. By focusing on tech startups, LSETF will act as a channel to expand and accelerate the business growth in this sector as well as increase employment opportunities.
“LSETF has created a program specially to help Innovation Driven Enterprises (IDEs), of which technology entrepreneurs make up a large percentage. Technology startups and technology startup founders will have access to the different programs under Lagos Innovates. These programs will range from physical workspace vouchers to hub loans and a wide range of other programs.
“This initiative bears vital importance to the growth and development of entrepreneurs in the knowledge-based economy.
Besides, these new structures and strategies are being explored and formulated by the Lagos State government to help technology-based SMEs grow and to offer a promising future within the global marketplace. In this case, techpreneurs will be able to expand themselves to compete in this borderless world, while adding value to their communities to achieve sustainability,” LSETF stated.