Crucial to the development of any economy are its small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), but one of the downsides is that most SMEs are run by individuals who have little or no business experience. This then places a skills gap in the industry and our #BellaNaijaMCM this week is trying to fill it.
Charles Odii is the founder and executive director of SME100Africa, an organisation that “inspires, empowers and equips young entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Africa by providing: access to finance, access to markets, access to inspiring networks, capacity development, and access to information”.
Charles had worked in a multinational and then moved to a tech startup. That was where he realised that it wasn’t that hard to build a business. He then began consulting for small businesses and shortly after that, SME100 was launched.
SME100 hosts the annual 25 Under 25 awards to celebrate entrepreneurs and founders from various industries. The award ceremony recognises and celebrates “micro and small businesses including start-ups that are transforming industries that impact millions of lives everyday in Nigeria.”
SME100 Nigeria also hosts an annual International Women’s Day program, through its 100Women platform, that helps women entrepreneurs build their businesses as well as achieve equality in the workplace.
Every year also, SME100 Nigeria hosts the Lagos Small Business Policy Summit which brings together government leaders, private sector, academia, policy makers and small business owners; who are innovative game changers in their various sectors to discuss the impact of policies that will affect small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria.
Charles holds a BSc in Management Information System from Covenant University and an MSc in Marketing and Communication from Pan Atlantic University.
Charles cut his teeth in business development, working at Rocket Internet, before moving to Red Media Africa where he was Chief Operating Officer.
We celebrate Charles for his contribution to building the future of Africa and we’re rooting for him.