First Bank of Nigeria Ltd announced N500,000 business grant to five Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as part of its SMEConnect initiative.
Mrs. Oludolapo Adigun, Group Head, Retail Banking, Lagos Mainland 1, First Bank, listed the five SMEs who will benefit as follows: Buyscrap Nigeria Enterprise; Arteasy Nigeria; Gris Business; Digital Solutions Network and Edatsu Technology Ltd.
She stated that each of the SMEs received a N100,000 grant to support their businesses following the SME clinic 2021, which was held in collaboration with Techpoint Africa.
SMEConnect, according to Adigun, is one of the tools through which First Bank delivers the capacity-building pillar of its value propositions to SMEs, with a focus on impacting SMEs in key areas that affect their business growth and development.
“In recent years, First Bank has focused on empowering SMEs, recognizing their enormous value to the Nigerian economy.
“We founded SMEConnect to help drive this mission, and we are thrilled to be collaborating with Techpoint Africa on the SME clinic 2021.
“The small business grant is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how the program can help SMEs. We are looking forward to future collaborations, said Adigun.
Precious Mogoli, Director, SME Clinic by Techpoint, also spoke, saying that SMEs were the lifeblood of any economy, and that in Nigeria, current data showed that SMEs made up 96% of businesses, accounting for more than half of the country’s GDP.
She stated that COVID-19 was changing the way businesses operate around the world, with a greater emphasis on technology.
“While technology startups have been able to deal with this change, traditional enterprises have had a more difficult time.
“With this in mind, Techpoint’s SME Clinic creates a forum where Nigerian SMEs can learn grit, resilience, and how to scale their businesses with technology.
“Techpoint’s SME Clinic tries to reach Nigerian SMEs through its newsletter and town halls/webinars.” an annual flagship event.
“It was a truly memorable moment,” Mogoli said. “We hope to continue building a community of business owners who will use technology to impact the Nigerian economy.”
In a pandemic-ridden world, she explained, small business owners must adapt to the new normal – social distance, remote work, and technology, among other things – in order to survive.
“While a few businesses have found ways to use these new and emerging tech tools to solve everyday problems and grow their businesses,” she added, “many others are still struggling to adapt.”
Participants in the 2021 SME Clinic were taught how to use technology to sustain their businesses, including bookkeeping and managing an online business.