Mastercard has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to provide micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with access to digital, payment and training tools.

The MoU, which was signed on Tuesday, will boost the capacity of MSMEs to grow their businesses while supporting the Startup Fintech community in Lagos. 

Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the Executive Secretary, LSETF, Teju Abisoye, said:  “Nigeria, like most developing countries, contends with unemployment, and entrepreneurship remains a viable option to empowering residents with jobs and wealth creation opportunities. Our collaboration with Mastercard will have a significant impact on the way MSMEs operate, equipping business owners with innovative tools and knowledge. Not only will this assist our vision to achieve digital financial inclusion for MSMEs, but also help us foster the adoption of innovation within the vibrant Lagos business ecosystem.”

Country Manager and Area Business Head, West Africa, Mastercard, Ebehijie Momoh, said: “Despite the critical role MSMEs play in the socio-economic development of Nigeria, we recognise that they face numerous hurdles that negatively affect their sustained growth, including limited to no access to funding, business training, formal credit, infrastructure deficit, and more. The MoU fosters multiple growth opportunities for MSMEs and ultimately equips them to become active participants in the digital economy by providing technologically innovative environments for Fintech startups and multiple opportunities to leverage Mastercard’s assets.

According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), MSMEs in Nigeria account for 96 per cent of all business activities, contribute 50 per cent of the national GDP, and provide over 48 per cent of all employment opportunities in the country.

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