An E-commerce and marketplace platform specifically for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the state of Osun has been officially launched with the commencement of a training program for beneficiaries of the pilot project.
The project, Ajé (which is translated as wealth and prosperity) is deisgned not just like an ordinary E-platform where buyers meet sellers but with focus on creating the appropriate market space for artisans, traders and farmers in Osun State.
The Ajé Mart project is being undertaken by Freshfield in partnership with The Osun State government with the purpose of eradicating poverty in the state, indirectly empowering MSMEs and boosting the state’s IGR.
Speaking during the training for business owners, who have been enumerated and whose businesses have been profiled on the Ajé Mart platform, Laniyan-Bishop Sola, the Project Manager explained that the project is targeted at developing MSMEs in the State with a view to linking them with the right markets.
Laniyan added that, “Ajé mart is focusing on market linkage and business development services.”
Speaking about the financial commitment from the sellers, Laniyan-Bishop noted that there’s no financial requirement from sellers. He butressed that, “Unlike other E-commerce platform, we’re not charging you for using the platform, your contact would be displayed on the platform and buyers can link up with you and transact business directly”
To be able to relate effectively with prospective buyers, he spoke to participants about basic market place ethics and enlightened them on customer service skills.
The project manager envisaged that the challenge could be language barrier in communicating with buyers, but opined that Ajé Mart would include ‘language’ on the profile of each merchant.
Akintayo Adebiyi, Ajé Mart Project Analyst, while taking the participants through the model explained that for effective service delivery, Ajé Mart will have MSME hubs in all the 65 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs in the state. He explained that the hubs would be responsible for trainings, updating merchant’s profiles on the platform and responding to the needs of all sellers.
He urged the sellers to collaborate with the agents across all the 65 hubs to ensure effective and smooth running of the project.
In his reaction, Sunday Olalere, the General Secretary of the National Association of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, NASME, Osun State Chapter lauded the intervention of Ajé Mart which he said would address the challengs MSMEs are encountering in the state.
He pledged the commitment of the association to the project in Osun State adding that the idea has been much anticipated.
Cross participants at the training also commended the initiative which they believe would boost their income.