The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has said it will provide alternative funding opportunities to help business growth, having realised that access to capital is a key challenge faced by companies active in various sectors of the economy.
The Divisional Head, Listings Business, NSE, Olumide Bolumole, said this at a webinar hosted by the exchange yesterday, with the theme: “Capital raising for SMEs through the stock exchange.”
The webinar was hosted in collaboration with trade groups/chambers of commerce in the Northern region of the country, and was headlined by the President, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajia Saratu Iya Aliyu.
According to Bolumole, the traditional role of the exchange is as a platform for capital formation and liquidity holds good promise for businesses.
“Despite the impact of COVID-19, the NSE functioned to facilitate needed financing with over N2.5 trillion in capital raised by governments and corporate organisations in 2020 across various asset classes. Furthermore, the exchange in January 2020 launched the NSE Growth Board designed to support companies in their growth phase and this notably caters to SMEs,” he said.
On her part, Aliyu commended the NSE for organising the webinar and for extending this invitation to her to give the keynote address at the event.
“This reflects a recognition the role played by the chamber of commerce in promoting the growth and competitiveness of private enterprise in Nigeria. Going forward, I am hopeful that initiatives such as this webinar will spur greater interest in the activities of the Growth Board by the private sector, as it is a conscious effort to give credence to SMEs which are the building blocks of the Nigerian economy,” she said.
The exchange continues to deliver on its commitment to narrow the undesirable gap in SMEs ability to access right-sized capital and facilitate the flow of sustainable resources to spur the growth of SMEs. In this light, the NSE the NSE launched the Growth Board in 2020. Growth Board is meant to cater to the growing needs of start-ups, provide exit opportunities for investors and reduced the cost of funding.