SMEs, entrepreneurs can achieve more through Cooperative Society, says MBBOV boss - Paul Ukpabio's Blog

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Sunday, 15 November 2020

SMEs, entrepreneurs can achieve more through Cooperative Society, says MBBOV boss



Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, as well entrepreneurs can achieve more business successes by engaging in cooperative societies rather than through traditional bank loans.

According to the Chief Executive Officer, MBBOV Co-operative Society, Mrs Valerie Ayodele, at the opening of the 15th branch of the company in Isolo, Lagos, on Tuesday, many small business owners have been denied the opportunity of expanding their businesses as a result of exorbitant interest loans from traditional banking institutions.She said the age-long cooperative societies, if revived, could go a long way in strengthening the nation's economy.

"Given the rapid changing banking environment attributed to a while lot of factors including changing demographic composition , digital disruptions, changing aspirations, increased middle class, financial literacy and competition among MFBs, MBBOV plays a very crucial role in fostering joint effort and network.

Our aim is to demystify the gruesome challenge of funding for those who genuinely have entrepreneurial visions and are willing to make a bold step towards the seemingly distant future," she said.

She added: “We believe people can achieve much more together than individually, entrepreneurs and SME owners can achieve their dreams with or without traditional bank loans. We are convinced that there is post-modern approach to thrift and credit co-operation and we can develop our individual abilities while we grow our collective opportunities and strength our economy."

Mrs. Valerie further said small business owners should bury the impression that Cooperative society 'have come to take their money' but rather see them as partners in growing their businesses.

"The challenges are that the people have the impression that anyone that wants to open a co-operative  society has come to dupe them but when you look at it, they(business owners)  are the ones that have come to take our money and find it difficult to pay. But because I have worked in debt management in United Kingdom, I know how it works.

What I tell them is to come to us, we would reduce their debts and the amount they pay back. If you are used to paying N5,000, we reduce it to N2,000 so that it can be easy for you to pay while in difficult. We don't write you off because you defaulted. We only reduce your credit facility.

The essence of the cooperative is to help people. They have this idea that the bank will not give them money but that's what co-operative stands for. Co-operative has been in existence before banks started. People use co-operatives to build houses, train children, do a lot of things. So we are trying to bring back the oneness and unity of cooperative.

We want to change the mindset that Nigerians are credit worthy. You only need to change their mindset."

She added other places the company is operating includes Port-Harcourt, Warri, Abeokuta, Ekiti, Eket, Ogbomosho, Ibadan, Uyo, Mowe, Abuja, Jesse, Mosogar, Agbarho,  while plans are underway to open more branches in Ijebu-Ode and Ilorin before the end of the year.

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