COVID-19: Kwara small scale entrepreneurs lament hard times

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Small scale entrepreneurs in Kwara state have appealed to the state government to assist them with soft loan and other financial incentives to survive the present economic situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Sunday, one of the young entrepreneurs, who organized free distribution of food items to her colleagues, Mrs. Rukayat Yahaya, said that young entrepreneurs were going through hard times brought about by the pandemic.

Yahaya, who said that the gesture was made possible through donation from friends, family and anonymous donors, called on government to key into the project by providing them soft loan.

“We need the support of the government. 80 per cent of people who registered for this donation are females. 70 per cent of them are married and 60 per cent of this have kids.

“So, we still have a long way to go. About 1,025 have so far registered and it’s increasing. This is just first 100. It’s actually quite tough for us.

“For instance, no one would come out to buy fabrics, invite MC, contact make up artist etc, for now. People want to stock up their homes and put food on their table. That’s the priority now. Many of this people do not have alternative business and they are bread winners of their families,” she said.

Duaglobalnews reports that some of the items packaged for distribution include indomie noodles, spaghetti, rice, groundnut oil, among others.

Yahaya, who noted that category of entrepreneurs selling essentials was quite small, when compared with others who were also doing legitimate work, said that, “unfortunately, due to pandemic, they are making zero per cent sales.

“I decided to do this, creating a data base and in 24 hours, over 300 young entrepreneurs have registered, that they needed food on their table.
“I also created a video to raise funds from friends, family members and philanthropists. Now, there are over 1,025 young entrepreneurs asking for survival. It’s quite touchy and sad.

“We’re starting with first 100 beneficiaries today because we don’t want to wait till all we needed come in. Also, we want to maintain social distancing,”she said.

Some of the beneficiaries, who expressed their appreciation, also called on the state government to assist them with loan to sustain their businesses.

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