NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via InvestorWire — One of the most important advantages of the internet is making the world a global village. This has revolutionized how people learn, work, buy and sell, love, and experience things with others.
While businesses of all sizes are already leveraging the many advantages, many are still left out or not exploring it to its full potential.
A new online portal, the Integrated Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (iMSME) ecosystem is being developed to close this gap.
iMSME will be a portal open to businesses of all sizes, with a focus on SMEs, designed to facilitate communication among businesses and to build relationships with potential partners, clients and customers.
The portal is a product of a partnership endeavor between business solutions company, ITScope Consulting, a technology and communications company, Tingo Inc. (OTCQB: IWBB), the parent company of Tingo Mobile PLC, Africa’s leading agri-fintech company, and the federal government of Nigeria through the Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), an establishment charged with the responsibility of stimulating, monitoring and coordinating the development of the micro, small and medium enterprises sub-sector.
“The iMSME portal will foster economic growth and development of all micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria when deployed. I urged MSMEs to leverage the portal to grow their businesses. The iMSME portal is a real-time integrated ICT platform designed to provide a digital solution to most of the problems faced by MSMEs in Nigeria.” – Dr. Dikko Umaru Radda, Director General SMEDAN
This portal is expected to make business processes more intuitive and enable businesses of all sizes to benefit from a growing ecosystem.
“The iMSME portal in conjunction with SMEDAN is the sustainable catalyst that will transform the entire hitherto unorganized informal sector in Nigeria, which makes up 50% of our GDP, into a functional ecosystem that opens talented indigenous entrepreneurs to efficient, affordable online business development services, enhance logistics support for small businesses and increase access to markets not just within Nigeria but regionally and across Africa.” – Obinna Amuchienwa, Chairman ITScope
ITScope Consulting will be serving as the central clearinghouse for verified businesses operating in Nigeria, which will be registered on the portal, and Tingo, Inc. will serve as a technology partner.
“We are delighted to work with SMEDAN and ITScope to deliver this important platform, which will assist in delivering increased and sustainable economic growth in Nigeria and across Africa.
“When I started my business over 20 years ago, some of the biggest challenges I faced were identifying and connecting with the best partners to deliver strategic goals and to efficiently engage with these partners and customers on a day-to-day basis.
The iMSME portal allows entrepreneurs and business of all sizes to connect, engage and do business. This increase in efficiency will lead to a more prosperous economy for Nigeria and across Africa as the platform grows.
This partnership highlights our commitment to fostering a sustainable, digitally led economy that supports entrepreneurs and business across Africa.” – Dozy Mmobuosi, CEO Tingo, Inc.
The portal aims to revolutionize many of the processes of businesses of all sizes and across multiple sectors of the economy. A key feature of the portal is MyQ, an appointment scheduling system that allows businesses autonomy to control how partners and clients book appointments, thereby reducing cost while also increasing efficiency. Another feature that will do this is i-Chatbot, which allows businesses to automate the customer contact matrix, at a fraction of the cost of employing support staff, providing fast and business-specific answers to frequently asked questions.
There will also be an e-Wallet to serve as escrow to protect both buyers and sellers on the platform. This is in addition to microloans and grants that can be electronically set to allow only pre-approved payments. The vision is to create an effective payment management system for these businesses. This will be delivered by Tingo, which already operates a mobile wallet, Tingo Pay, used by over nine million customers.
One use case envisioned by Tingo is to facilitate a connection and communication between a wheat farmer, flour mill and baker, enabling them to easily discover each other, place orders, make payments, insure the transaction and complete logistics, all verified and guaranteed via the central clearing authority.
“With iMSME, we intend to use technology in driving economics of scale to reduce costs for our MSME partners, thereby allowing us to achieve key goals of the SMEDAN mandate:
- Promoting and facilitating development programs, instruments and support services to accelerate the development and modernization of MSME operations.
- Serving as vanguard for rural industrialization, poverty reduction, job creation and enhanced livelihoods.
- Linking MSMEs to internal and external sources of finance, appropriate technology, technical skills as well as to large enterprises.” – Ajibola Edwards, Director ITScope
Through the portal, businesses can curate targeted advertising of products and services to drive awareness and increase sales. iMSME users will also benefit from several other features – more than connecting with customers, clients and other businesses on the portal, they will also have access to business services like CAC registration, Tax Identification Number registration, Group Insurance, Pension Management, and even access to a digital support suite that can help small businesses scale tech support.
iMSME is bringing over 2.5m verified business under a central repository with the potential to fully onboard 41m businesses over the lifetime of the ten-year agreement.
Contacts – Tingo, Inc.
Chief of Staff – Tingo Inc