Crowdfunding Will Unlock Untapped Capital in Economy—SEC

September 12, 2022
crowdfunding untapped capital

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has further thrown its weight behind crowdfunding, stressing that its operationalization will accelerate the financial inclusion agenda in Nigeria by increasing the quantum of investible funds in the financial system and unlocking the untapped capital in the economy.

The Executive Commissioner for Operations at SEC, Mr Dayo Obisan, described crowdfunding as a new phenomenon growing popular in Nigeria.

He further said the platform is an innovative source of finance which provides micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups the avenue to raise capital from the crowd (populace) by harnessing the power of the internet.

Speaking at a webinar with the theme Accelerating Financial Inclusion Through Crowdfunding, Mr Obisan said in “realization of the potentials of crowdfunding, the commission’s rules issued in January 2021 has taken concrete steps to improve the regulatory framework for crowdfunding by the introduction of the operational framework between the fundraisers and the investing public in Nigeria.”

“The framework amongst others makes it mandatory for any investment-based crowdfunding to be operated only by intermediaries through the issuance of investment instruments. This will no doubt provide an additional opportunity for MSMEs, startups and the general public to quicker fundraising options,” he added.

The senior official of SEC further stated that, “It is strongly believed that the capital market has a leading role to play in this regard by collaborating with relevant stakeholders to map out strategies for deepening the capital market through Financial Inclusion as well as continuous enlightenment programs with a focus on collective investment schemes.”

“Certainly, this roundtable discussion promises to be exciting. The faculty gathered here are experts in various fields and set to impact knowledge on Understanding crowdfunding, its regulatory framework in Nigeria and the potential of crowdfunding in accelerating retail participation in the capital market.

“I encourage every participant to take advantage of this educative forum as I have no doubt that this subject will lead to the birth of new ideas that will equip us with the requisites knowledge and skills to achieving financial inclusion through crowdfunding,” he added.

Mr Obisan said the event hosted by the SEC was the first in a series since the commission’s rules governing crowdfunding became effective in January 2021 with the main objective of “investor safety” and is aimed at providing a platform for knowledge and experience sharing among participants.

“It is also to raise awareness of participants, and indeed Nigerians, on crowdfunding as a funding mechanism for start-ups and MSMEs, to enlighten them on experiences and lessons on crowdfunding from other jurisdictions as it an alternative way of investment and financing of businesses,” he further disclosed.

He commended participants on their keen interest in the potential of achieving an all-inclusive capital market for advancement and the growth of the Nigerian economy.

In her remarks, the President of the African Crowd Funding Association, Mrs Elizabeth Howard, described crowdfunding as an umbrella term that explains the use of small amounts of money, obtained from a large number of individuals or organisations to fund a project, a business or personal loan and other needs through online web-based platforms, noting that it is like putting money in a wallet.

Also speaking the Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), Mr Eguarekhide Longe, stated that crowdfunding could aid capital mobilisation for economic growth and development.

Aduragbemi Omiyale

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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