2016 was an unforgettable year for many Nigerians; it was the year that the word ‘recession’ lost its ambiguity and became a reality in many Nigerian organizations and homes. Jobs were lost, children stayed back from school, the prices of goods and food wares skyrocketed and it seemed like Nigeria was on the brink of severe economic failure.

The big driver of the slump in the Nigerian economy has been the persistently low price of oil over the past two and a half years and with it, the realization that Nigeria cannot live on oil alone or depend on oil exports to bring in the much-needed foreign exchange.

In the midst of the looming crisis, a rallying cry to restore Nigeria’s ailing industries and inject life into its entrepreneurial sector arose. It was a powerful, electrifying call to action to Nigeria’s citizens and business leaders, stakeholders, partners and SME’s.

The time to actively invest in the rise of the entrepreneurial era in Nigeria is now and Nigerians must be at the forefront of this drive in order to inspire confidence in Nigeria’s capabilities amongst potential partners and investors, and reach out to a vast local and global audience with a movement that will inspire and motivate.Each preceding government has mouthed the same rhetoric about diversifying the economy, raising agricultural output, encouraging foreign investment, improving the manufacturing and mining sector but until the citizenry starts to own Make in Nigeria and move it beyond just one more slogan or tagline, it will remain just that; ineffective propaganda.

SME’s need to produce in Nigeria and export in other to earn in dollars and there is no gainsaying the fact that SME’s build and strengthen some of the world’s largest economies. We must start to make in Nigeria in order to support the growth of SME’s and the Nigerian economy.

IC-BEC 2017 is geared to create a fora for the government, investors, and the banking industry to liaise with SME’s that are making in Nigeria and to start a movement that will move beyond round table meetings into actionable strategies and collaborative efforts. These will be achieved through Business to Business networking and government to private sector networking, business matching, trade expos, brand expositions, and seminars from notable business leaders from around the world.

At IC-BEC 2017, SME’s in the manufacturing industry will be afforded opportunities, information and the avenues necessary to ensure that they thrive in Nigeria’s entrepreneurial era. In addition, IC-BEC fosters the development of adequate technical and cognitive skills that promote new ways of thinking, a productive workforce, inspire entrepreneurship, and enable citizens to make informed decisions.

This annual capacity building conference and networking trade event in Nigeria, is aimed at ensuring that Nigerians start making in Nigeria, products that can not only compete favorably on a global platform but are sought after in other nations in accordance with international business practices.