How Alerzo offers Nigerian MSMEs new lifeline

Opaleye realized that technology from China could be used in Nigeria, so he decided to go back to Nigeria to use similar technology to solve the problems of Nigerian retailers. Alerzo Nigeria was born.

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The sector of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), is considered the main driving force for every economy, regardless of where it is located.

According to the International Council for Small Business, MSMEs make up more than 90 percent of all businesses and account for 60 to 70 percent on average of total employment and 50% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The United States Trade Representative claims that MSMEs account for almost two-thirds (or nearly three-quarters) of all net new jobs in the private sector in recent decades.

India’s MSME sector accounts for more than 42,000,000 people, which is a remarkable 95 percent of India’s total industrial units. It also provides 40 percent of India’s workforce.

The statistics for Nigeria show the same trend. According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, the sector employs more than 54 million workers and has a total of 37 million MSMEs. It also contributes 54 percent of the country’s GDP.

Different policies and structures are put in place to support the sector’s development. This is because of the important role it plays in the economy.

Nigeria has the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria. This agency is a government-funded specialist agency that caters to the sector’s needs.

Despite the efforts of the government to address the sector’s challenges, MSMEs operators still face many challenges. These include inventory management, accessing working capital, logistics and pricing volatility. These issues are why many MSMEs fail at worst or have low growth and profitability.

With the arrival of Alerzo Limited (a business-to business e-commerce platform) that provides retailers in the informal sector with easier, faster, and more efficient access to a broad range of products via its retail app, Alerzoshop, this tide is changing.

Alerzo Limited was founded in 2019 by Adewale Opaleye. It provides digital products to help informal retailers in Nigeria to increase their profits.

Opaleye pointed out that there are many challenges to the informal retail market, including: ” Limited inventory due to high demand; limited access to financing which sometimes leads them buy adulterated goods; the market is clustered; products are often overpriced as prices are largely unregulated; distance from market; opportunity costs and dangers; inadequate transport system for moving goods; and

Alerzo’s founder was a mother who worked as an informal retailer. He had to deal with these prototype MSMEs problems personally during his studies at a Chinese university.

Opaleye realized that the same technology could also be used in Nigeria so he decided to go back to Nigeria to implement the technology to help the Nigerian retailers. Alerzo Nigeria was born.

The e-commerce platform has given retailers a chance to grow their businesses since its inception. Alerzo Limited, for example, has created Alerzoshop. This digital app makes it easier for informal retailers. Alerzo customers can buy products at lower prices, receive huge discounts, and have their orders delivered free of charge.

It is not surprising that the company has taken the South-Western states by storm in just two years and is now making steady inroads into the North-Western, North-Central and North-Western states of the federation.

Opaleye, founder and chief executive officer, seems happy with what Alerzo Limited was able to accomplish in its short time of operation.

We are creating an environment in which informal retailers don’t have to deal directly with these issues. One delivery at a moment, we transform the landscape. Our delivery services allow retailers to save time, money, and energy that would otherwise be spent on restocking. Our delivery services have helped 85 percent of our customers reduce their 2 – 4 weekly restocking trips to zero i>

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