Despite the myriad of challenges they face, 63 per cent of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria expect business growth in 2023, Mastercard has disclosed.

This is as 97 per cent of SMEs believe that omnichannel payments present the biggest growth opportunity for them.

Those were revealed in the second edition of the Mastercard Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa SME Confidence Index.

As companies slowly recover from the pandemic and return to growth phase, the firm indicated that 55 per cent of SMEs in the country were generally concerned about the rising cost of doing business in 2023 and access to capital funding (42 per cent), despite their optimistic outlook for the future.

78 per cent of SMEs project an increase or similar revenues in 2023, the firm’s survey discovered.

It further highlighted the top three areas of growth opportunities for SMEs in the country were access to training and development (95 per cent), digitising business (93 per cent) and access to better data, analytics and insights (89 per cent).

The Country Manager and Area Business Head for West Africa at Mastercard, Ebehijie Momoh, said, “We are encouraged by the findings of the Mastercard SME Confidence Index, which demonstrates the resilience and optimism of SMEs in Nigeria.

“It is inspiring to see that 78 per cent of SMEs project similar or increased revenues in 2023. At Mastercard, we are committed to supporting small businesses and merchants by leveraging our network, technology, and partnerships. In an evolving commercial landscape with changing spending patterns, we recognise the importance of connections and inclusivity.

“We will assist businesses in accessing credit and maintaining stable cash flow. We will provide them with valuable insights through analysis and digital training. Moreover, we will empower them to embrace digital solutions, enabling fast electronic payments, fostering business growth, and safeguarding against cyber threats.”

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