The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has presented a social impact assessment report of its entrepreneurship programmes.
The Impact Assessment Exercise carried out with support from Ford Foundation, measured the achievements of the Fund’s interventions, documented the lessons learnt, and made recommendations on how to enhance the Fund’s performance in future.
The report titled, ‘LSETF Impact: Progress and Lessons’ revealed that 7,817 micro, small and medium enterprises MSMEs have been funded by the LSETF under its MSME Loan Programme, 89 per cent of businesses have been able to pay back loans solely from business income and profits while 70 per cent of beneficiaries who were unable to access funding before the LSETF intervention recorded positive improvement.
The report further showed that 70 per cent of the beneficiaries hired at least one person, with 89 per cent of small businesses which benefited from the LSETF loans have been able to pay back the loans chiefly from the business income and profits, while 72 per cent of the MSMEs who benefited from the LSETF loans reported a positive impact on their business growth and personal life.
It said Female beneficiaries are able to support an average of 5 dependents each, while their male counterparts support an average of 4. This means that about 8,000 loan beneficiaries are responsible for at least 40,000 persons.
Also, 75 entrepreneurs in the technology and innovation space were impacted by the LSETF’s Lagos Innovates workspace voucher programme which led to the creation of 2,125 direct and indirect jobs, while 76 per cent of the Lagos Innovates beneficiaries are ready to pitch to investors for additional funding.
Equally, LSETF’s interventions created a total of 89,678 jobs.
The Fund enabled the inclusion of 41,515 taxpayers in the Lagos State Government Tax net.
Commenting on the results of the report, the Executive Secretary of the LSETF, Mr. Akintunde Oyebode said; “I am very pleased that Ford Foundation partnered with us to carry out this independent assessment of the impact of the LSETF initiative and its operations. The outcome has been very insightful and has thrown up indicators to areas that need improvement. At LSETF, we believe it is important to measure impact, to ensure we improve the benefit received from the public and private capital entrusted to us. By providing this body of work, we also hope that other institutions within and outside Nigeria, learn from our experience, and are able to design even better programmes to put people in jobs.”
In his remarks at the forum, the Regional Director, Ford Foundation, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma said; “It is impressive that the LSETF as an agency of the Government has done a laudable job even in the face of growing scepticism of the impact of special programmes by the government to solve social problems. It is important that an agency created few years ago has decided to embark on what is usually not the norm, to check how it has performed and the lessons learnt in other to make future plans. This should be a model for other states and government agencies across the federation,” Mr. Chukwuma said.
A panel organised to review the report by development experts comprising one of Nigeria’s leading Economists and the CEO, Kainos Edge Consulting Limited, Dr. Doyin Salami; Group Chief, Sustainability and Governance, Dangote, Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, and Founding Partner, Ventures Platform, Mr. Kola Aina, also shared insight on aspects of the study.
In his remarks, Dr. Salami lauded the LSETF on the assessment report and impact made so far saying; “The numbers are great. The next phase should focus on building sustainability and partnerships to support and expand LSETF programmes.”
Dr. Nnoli-Edozien on her part noted that; “This assessment is very laudable. I started working with women entrepreneurs 20 years ago in the context of growing businesses and from my experience, we have to look carefully into the areas of employability, impact, governance, funding, and sustainability to ensure this initiative is formidable.”
In the same vein, Mr. Aina said; “I am proud of the impact of the LSETF most especially within the tech and innovation ecosystem. The assessment report showed that LSETF has recorded significant success and positive perception in its involvement with the Lagos tech community and deserves commendation for the fantastic job. Even though the innovation stream received the least amount of funding, it created a significant amount of jobs of over 2,100 and that perhaps improves the confidence in the sub-sector to truly be transformative and not just from a job creation standpoint.”