SMEs are Driving Innovation in Nigeria – GE Report

General Electric Nigeria has presented its 2014 annual Innovation Barometer report for Nigeria. The event which held at the well-appointed Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos was attended by a distinguished and select audience made up of chief executives of companies and senior level managers.

The report which has become an annual fixture on GE’s calendar is distilled from a wide ranging opinion survey of senior business executives, all actively engaged in the management of their firm’s innovation strategy and it is carried out on behalf of GE by Edelman Berland in 26 countries including Nigeria. This year’s report is the 2nd for Nigeria.

Speaking on this year’s report, Dr. Lazarus Angbazo, President and CEO for GE Nigeria said “At GE, we are all about innovation which makes us very delighted to be presenting a report that measures the innovation health of Nigerian businesses.”

To produce the report, the survey examines every country’s uniquely developed framework for Innovation; profiles the most efficient policies to support Innovation; while adopting a firm centric approach to understand the way businesses adapt their innovation practices and strategies in a challenging economic environment.

This year’s report, as with past editions, offers interesting insights and amazing perspectives on the trajectory of innovation currently playing out in the Nigerian corporate ecosystem with majority of those polled agreeing that innovation is a key driver of business growth and development.

One interesting insight, according to the report is that 39% of those polled say SMEs are at the forefront of innovation while 82% saw innovation as a positive force which has improved the quality of life of people in Nigeria at a scale only imagined 10 years ago.

The report also noted that some segments of the Nigerian economy have embraced innovation faster than others. The report indicated that the High tech, Telecom and Energy industries have embraced innovation faster than the Manufacturing and Healthcare industries.

Majority of respondents described innovation as a global phenomenon which will grow and continue to deliver impressive dividends through the merging and combining of talents, ideas, insights and resources across the world with a higher number of respondents agreeing that the framework for innovation has slightly improved in Nigeria vis a vis ‘an innovation-conducive environment’ compared to 18 months ago.

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