First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand and the number 1 SME Bank is supporting and participating in the LEAP Africa 10th CEO Forum in line with the Bank’s corporate responsibility and sustainability programme. The forum is a platform for interaction, knowledge sharing and partnerships between Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and leading private and public sector organizations who offer cutting-edge solutions that aid growth, development and sustainability of businesses in Nigeria. This year’s conference is scheduled for June 9, 2015 and is themed “Staying Ahead: Maximizing Profits and Mitigating Risks”.
The Bank’s sponsorship of the LEAP Africa CEO forum is another intervention to boost capacity and foster the growth and development of small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria. The Forum would expose business owners to the importance of succession planning, instituting effective systems, structures and ethical leadership within their organizations to ensure long term sustainability.
As part of its commitment to nation building and economic development, FirstBank launched the SMEConnect engagement programme in 2013 geared towards building the capacity of SMEs to deliver business goals and contribute more significantly to national development. The Bank’s SME Seminar Series, themed “We can help with that” is part of this engagement, with focus on providing practical help on relevant challenges faced by small businesses such as capacity building, business plan writing, marketing products and services, as well as accessing bank loans and documentation, amongst other curriculum.
According to the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, SMEs are a critical aspect of the nation’s economy and holds the key to sustainable development and our long term survival as a nation. “FirstBank is committed to nation building, and the SME market is one of our strategic platforms to stimulate economic development”, she stated.
Other activities that mirror FirstBank’s commitment to SMEs include African Start-Up, the sponsored TV documentary on CNN showcasing SME success stories across Africa; Ignite (an afterschool graduate employability and enterprise training initiative); and constant social media engagement. The Bank also has a dedicated website for SMEs at www.firstbanknigeria.com/smeconnect which is at the heart of all FirstBank’s SME activities.