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FIRSTBANK’S SMECONNECT PORTAL COULD BE THE DIFFERENTIATOR FOR SMES IN NIGERIA

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FirstBank - Reaping the Benefits of a Solid Legacy

FIRSTBANK’S SMECONNECT PORTAL COULD BE THE DIFFERENTIATOR FOR SMES IN NIGERIA

 

Firstbank– Over a hundred years since banks came into Nigeria, services rendered to small and medium scale businesses were limited to core banking services and transactions. However, those that cared to look further were able to stand the test of time, reinventing themselves with cutting edge financial services that remain key to sustaining its relevance to not just its host communities but the global community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAVING A FIRSTBANK SALARY ACCOUNT CAN EASE YOUR MONEY PROBLEMS

 

 

 

 

Based on findings from extensive engagements with customers, internal and external surveys and reports by SMEDAN, Efina and NBS, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has been deliberate in ensuring that SMEs thrive and grow their businesses as SMEs can access and enjoy the convenience of its industry-leading financial services. FirstBank thus launched the SMEConnect portal to congregate value-adding propositions & services for SMEs on a single platform for easy access.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRSTBANK’S SMECONNECT PORTAL COULD BE THE DIFFERENTIATOR FOR SMES IN NIGERIA

 

 

 

 

 

The value propositions and services on the SMEConnect portal educate and equip SMEs to combat challenges like poor business structure, lack of infrastructure, low market penetration, limited access to information and professional services, inconsistent government policies and others that might stifle their growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For example, lack of capacity is one of the most indicted reasons for business failure or stunted growth in business. The SMEconnect portal connects business owners to resources and information to educate them on structuring and better managing their businesses. The platform houses webinars on various important topics to help educate SMEs and build the required capacity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blog section of the portal has interesting and informative content like:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Building and maintaining good customer relationshipsRemaining in business after Covid-19; How to scale up; How to successfully separate a financial business account from a personal business account; as well as  Creating a Micropension scheme for MSMEs etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FirstBank also runs varying degrees of entrepreneurship programs and activities through pieces of training, workshops, seminars, business clinics and webinars, and the events are displayed on the portal for business owners to access.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is known that over 60% of businesses fail in their first year, not only because of capacity constraints, access to finance is another reason they fail. The SMEConnect portal connects businesses to resources and finances by providing information on the various finance options available to registered users. There is a section of the portal that breaks down the steps to accessing finance for businesses, to simple actions such as opening either savings or domiciliary accounts After all, what would be the essence of all the education and capacity building if the business owner is still unable to access finances and other resources. SMEs that have an account with FirstBank can access direct and indirect funding throughout the business life cycle via grants, debt/loans, and equity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to other benefits, the platform connects SMEs to Market, Resources, Infrastructure, Talent for business development, Policy and Advocacy, giving them all they need to move to the next stage of their business growth. The portal also integrates SMEs into large distribution networks by connecting them to customers, distributor channels, suppliers, and large corporates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also productivity tools such as the Business Diagnostic tool that helps check the health of a business as well a pool of professionals like accountants, lawyers, digital marketers, consultants and business coaches, which SMEs can tap into. Some of these value-adding solutions are free, and for the few that are not, they come at substantially discounted rates. As the premier Bank in West Africa, First Bank has exceeded the expectation of what its services to individuals and businesses ought to be. The SMEConnect portal is one of First Bank’s initiatives to promote the sustainability of SMEs by exposing them to the knowledge and resources they need to grow their business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most exciting features businesses get on the SMEConnect portal is the Business Diagnostic Tool earlier mentioned, it is a 15-minute survey where SMEs are asked questions about their business and at the end, get a customised report for their business. This is ordinarily, a service that business owners pay consultants to get, but First Bank has made it available for free even to businesses that do not have an account with them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are special offers for SMEs that are registered and have an account with First Bank, and an opportunity to be listed on the portal. You can find businesses listed across different industries like education/training, manufacturing, trade, agriculture, hospitality, transportation/logistics, telecommunications, ICT, healthcare and fitness, sports, FMCG, financial services, media/entertainment, food, real estate, engineering/construction, oil & gas, fashion/beauty, and services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These registered businesses get to showcase their products/services for free, interact with customers and other SMEs, have an opportunity to attend free monthly capacity building workshops, seminars and webinars; and get exclusive discounts on business development resources such as booking a business coach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As more businesses sign up and use the SMEConnect portal, it is possible to see a future where Nigerian businesses break even, thrive, and grow amidst challenges.

 

Culled from Nairametrics

 

 

Bank

ZENITH BANK WINS “BANK OF THE YEAR, NIGERIA” IN THE BANKER AWARDS 2022

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PRUDENTIAL AFRICA LEADS INDUSTRY WITH HIGHEST NUMBER OF MILLION DOLLAR ROUND TABLE (MDRT) QUALIFIERS 

ZENITH BANK WINS “BANK OF THE YEAR, NIGERIA” IN THE BANKER AWARDS 2022

 

 

 

 

Zenith Bank Plc has emerged as Bank of the Year in Nigeria in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2022. The award, which was announced by The Banker Magazine, Financial Times Group, United Kingdom, during the awards ceremony held in London on December 1, 2022, was in recognition of Zenith Bank’s strong management, sound business model and strategy, support for small businesses and efforts to cut energy consumption. According to the Banker, Nigeria’s Bank of the Year award was among the continent’s most hotly contested this year, befitting the country’s status as Africa’s largest economy. This is coming on the heels of the award as Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital by The Banker won by Zenith Bank earlier in the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZENITH BANK WINS “BANK OF THE YEAR, NIGERIA” IN THE BANKER AWARDS2022

 

 

 

Commenting on the award, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said: “winning the Bank of the Year attests to our tenacity as an institution despite a very challenging operating environment exacerbated by persistent macroeconomic headwinds. Indeed, being recognised by The Banker – the world’s longest running international banking title, is an acknowledgement of the resilience of the Zenith brand as the leading financial institution in Nigeria and the West African sub-region.” He lauded the Founder and Chairman, Jim Ovia, CFR, for his guidiance and pioneering role in laying the foundation and building the structures for an enduring and successful institution, the Board for their outstanding leadership, the staff for their commitment and dedication as well as the Bank’s customers for their unflinching loyalty to the Zenith brand over the years.

 

Regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence, The Banker’s Bank of the Year award is contested by the world’s leading financial institutions, with winners chosen across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and Western Europe.

 

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn it numerous awards, including being recognised as Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 13th consecutive year, in the 2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria 2021 and 2022 in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022; Best in Corporate Governance’ Financial Services’ Africa, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, by the Ethical Boardroom; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards. Also, the Bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and Retail Bank of the year, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

 

Similarly, Zenith Bank was honoured as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020 and emerged winner in four categories at the Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2021, carting home the awards for “Best Company in Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”, and the coveted “Most Responsible Organisation in Africa.

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Bloom Buddy redefines Nigeria’s executive health and forges strategic corporate alliance

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Bloom Buddy redefines Nigeria’s executive health and forges strategic corporate alliance

Bloom Buddy redefines Nigeria’s executive health and forges strategic corporate alliance

 

 

 

Bloom Buddy, Africa’s first autism tele-consultation service was joined by NBC Coca- Cola, I-Fitness, Pediatic Partners Hospital, Lakeshore Cancer Center, MyCover.ai, and other notable institutions to explore new health strategies for Nigerians.

 

 

Bloom Buddy redefines Nigeria’s executive health and forges strategic corporate alliance

 

 

 

 

 

Bloom Buddy held the first-ever Well Health Conference in Lagos, to a full capacity audience. It showcased a panel of health and wellness speakers in expert-led sessions focused on preventive healthcare practices, integrated wellness, general wellness, neurodevelopment in children, physical fitness, mental wellness strategies, nutrition, personal life coaching and access to healthcare insurance coverage.

 

Exhibitors included representatives from healthcare providers, health tech companies, a pharmaceutical company and natural cosmetics company.

 

The event also featured a zumba and african dance workout session hosted by I-Fitness, West Africa’s First and Fastest Growing Fitness Chain, blood pressure checks by Pediatic Partners Hospital, and access to breast cancer screenings by Lakeshore Cancer Center.

 

Affordable health insurance coverage signups were offered by MyCover.ai, an autism screening station educating parents about early screenings and intervention for children by Bloom Buddy, while the nutrition center and a hydration station were sponsored by the Nigerian Bottling Company.

 

Bloom Buddy is at the forefront of advocating for new mind set and new behavior for Nigeria to develop a healthier workforce and ensure long term prosperity.

 

According to World Health Organization and data from the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), Nigeria is ranked 187th out of 195 countries for life expectancy with an average life expectancy of just 54 years. 1/4 of Nigerians (26%) are estimated to be overweight or obese with only 1/3 of Nigerians engaging in regular physical activity.

 

Even more alarming statistics is that nearly 60 million Nigerians suffer from various mental illnesses according to the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN) with suicide being a leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years and only 1 in 10 people with mental health problems receiving treatment. Even more staggering is the dearth in health safety net coverage with a mere 3% of Nigerians being covered by health insurance causing many families to expend more than 70% of health expenses from out-of-pocket.

 

These statistics reveal the great need for initiatives like the Well Health Conference, a first of its kind in Lagos that brings together the public to build awareness and empower the community on living well, choosing healthier choices and making small changes that can have a big impact on overall health which aligns with Bloom Buddy’s mission to improve access to healthcare improve the lives of children and their families.

 

Sola Fatoba, CEO of Bloom Buddy, explained that “the state of wellness in Nigeria is far from where it needs to be for us and our children. We hope that today’s conversation will be a starting point for enlightenment and change for many of Nigerians on improving health and wellbeing.

 

“One of our key guiding principles at Bloom Buddy is that the health and wellbeing of a child must be approached from a holistic angle and must begin with and be supported at the community level to ensure inclusivity in the society. This means that both the community and the child must be healthy to best support each other. So everyone of us as a part of the community has a part to play in the wellness and development of children in our communities, and it starts with owning our personal wellness and wellbeing.”

 

Bloom Buddy is a complete ecosystem that connects parents & caregivers of children with Autism to licensed specialists and board-certified interventionists. It has a full range of resources at: www.thebloombuddy.com

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NESTLÉ PROFESSIONAL TAKES THE BUSINESS OF FOOD TO PORT HARCOURT

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NESTLÉ PROFESSIONAL TAKES THE BUSINESS OF FOOD TO PORT HARCOURT

The importance of canteens and ‘bukas’ who serve those with limited disposable income in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Yet, these food vendors and caterers who help to meet the nutrition needs of busy urban communities every day, do not always get the support they need to build successful businesses.

The business of food goes beyond just cooking. Nutrition, pricing, styling, taste, hygiene, are essential to the growth of the business and the safety of the consumer.

To help bridge this gap, Nestlé Professional’s food and product education workshop which held for the first time with over 200 Canteen and food Vendors in Ibadan, Oyo State in August 2022, was packaged to equip food vendors and caterers with the knowledge needed to optimize their food business while using MAGGI powders effectively.

Nestlé Professional Business, Nestlé Nigeria’s Out of Home business arm, took its Business of Food roadshow to Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, to deliver food education to over 300 canteen and food vendors in collaboration with the Association of Caterers and Food Vendors.

Participants in the workshop received tips on how to grow their food service businesses. The caterers and food vendors were shown how to cook tasty meals that will delight their customers as experts shared knowledge and techniques for managing the complexities of food systems. Topics included Food-Preneur, Food Styling and Food Plating.

“The women of Port-Harcourt are amazing, and we are super-excited to be here,” said Funmi Osineye, Manager, Nestlé Professional Nigeria. “The Business of Food workshop is an initiative we developed in response to the need to provide the support micro, small and medium scale food vendors need to scale their businesses. We are also conscious of our responsibility as the Good Food Good Life Company, to contribute towards increasing knowledge of the role food plays in improving Nutrition, Health, and Wellness.

We have brought these two objectives together in the Business of Food which we are hosting in Port-Harcourt today. Our customers and other stakeholders can count on us to consolidate this partnership with caterers and food vendors to ensure better services in the industry.”

In the words of Chef Oroma, a member of the Association of Caterers and Food Vendors and CEO of Oromski Kitchen, “We have been looking for a platform like this for a long time and are excited that Nestlé Professional Business of Food has come to Port-Harcourt today. We would like this workshop to continue so we can encourage and train the upcoming chefs from the rural areas.

This will help us create more employment to take our youth off the streets.”

The workshop combined knowledge sharing with a lot of fun, engaging activities to make it memorable for the participants. It kicked off with a masterclass, followed by a cooking demo where Chef Lilian demonstrated how to prepare native jollof rice.

Then came the exciting, cooking competition! The meals presented by the groups were judged based on Tasty Meal, Me

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