By Elizabeth Adegbesan
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) said that the inability of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to access external funds to drive businesses is limiting their chances of participating in international trade.
ACCA said based on a recent research titled, ‘Growing globally’, which surveyed SMEs and accounting practices worldwide, if given the right opportunities and access to necessary finance, SMEs are very likely to participate in international trade.
Speaking on the development, Head SME Policy, ACCA, Ben Baruch, said that 31 percent of SMEs surveyed identified inability to access external finance as a limitation to grow globally.
He stated: “It’s encouraging that so many Nigerian businesses have the appetite to internationalize, but small businesses need to ensure they have access to the right professional advice and support to do so successfully. Almost a third (31 percent) of respondents identified a lack of access to external finance – such as export finance – as a barrier to successful internationalization.
“Internationalization can potentially bring a range of growth benefits for both small businesses and the broader economy, whilst also driving productivity.”
Barauch called on the federal government to equip business owners with financial literacy skills that would enhance their capacity and ability to access external finance and help them in running their businesses effectively.
“Financial literacy is essential for entrepreneurs to run their businesses effectively, efficiently and profitably. It also enables them to financially plan, manage their finance function and access external funding. More support needs to be provided by the Nigerian government to ensure business owners are equipped with key financial literacy skills. This, in turn, will improve Nigerian SMEs’ ability to obtain external finance and help them grow sustainably,” he added.