As part of efforts to upscale the growth of entrepreneurship in the state, the Lagos State Government has concluded plans to launch a franchise framework development initiative for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the State.

According to a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond, the programme is designed towards expanding the frontiers of the local market, noting that the initiative evolved out of the need to strengthen the existing public-private business ecosystem with the aim of developing the sub-sector.

Her words: “Out of the need to strengthen the existing public-private business ecosystem with the aim of developing the sub-sector, Lagos State Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, in partnership with Franchiser and Distributor Forum, will be launching an initiative tagged: ‘Franchising as an Investment Alternative in Lagos State: A Capacity Building for 300 Lagos MSMEs”.

She revealed that the programme is targeting MSMEs in the classic franchise domains including products manufacturing, services, food and drinks, health and wellness and other personal care services, professional services, investors/commercial banks, cooperative societies, media as well as other MSMEs and individuals within the value chains.

The Special Adviser stated that the pilot scheme which is designed to expose 300 MSMEs to the franchise business system will support these Lagos-based franchises to develop their unique franchise model and help them get investment-ready. There will also be a periodic financing forum for both franchisors and franchisees to help deepen opportunities to collaborate.

“Part of the plan is to identify 20 MSMEs with the strong potential of growing between five outlets in the first year and 10 in the next 30 months and then provide the structure and franchise growth support including various intellectual property registrations”, she revealed.

Hammond, who explained that the business model is crucial to job creation, economic diversification, creativity and income redistribution, stated that the State has shown tremendous interest in helping SMEs get access to affordable financial and other institutional support they need to create wealth and employment for the youth.

She said: “Lagos being the hub of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the West Coast, with a concentration of 3,224,324 micro operators and over 11, 663 SMEs operators will benefit from this business model as part of efforts towards building an inclusive economy”.

Remarking that there is a need for a fair platform for partnerships and linkages between operators and government agencies to discover innovations and opportunities that will boost the economy, she said the simplicity of franchising makes it a very good way to unleash the growth potential of MSMEs.

On the criteria for selection, the Special Adviser stated that aside from having been in operation for a period of 24 months with sound management prospects, the MSME must have the potential for attracting investors/franchisees with a progressive annual revenue, adding that they must also be based in Lagos and ready to expand around and beyond the state.

Mrs. Hammond pointed out that the initiative will enhance the rightful role of SMEs in wealth and job creation, poverty reduction and stimulation of growth of the domestic economy as this administration is committed to building a 21st-century economy.

She maintained that the initiative will offer a genuine path for wealth creation and scale-up business activities around MSMEs, stressing that the most critical factor in franchising is the discipline that must be learnt to successfully run franchises.

While encouraging entrepreneurs in the focused sectors to take advantage of the scheme, the Special Adviser revealed that interested organisations should apply via:

Founder, FRANDIS Forum, Mr. Tayo Adelugbe remarked that the programme is designed to support the growth of MSME businesses in alignment with the government’s economic vision through a result-oriented and impact-driven franchise strategy.

He disclosed that the scheme is inspired by the need to have the State Government spearhead a momentous and transformative movement to build a thriving and sustainable franchise industry in the country.

“The collaborative model we are adopting is to establish a franchise culture and mindset as part of the overall entrepreneurship values that drive the growth of the MSMEs in the state”, Adelugbe stated.