The decision of Heritage Bank Plc to support young entrepreneurs in the country is beginning to pay off as the nation’s most innovative banking service provider was recently awarded for its outstanding contributions toward improving the lives of Young Business Owners in Nigeria.
At the 5th anniversary ceremony of the highly-rated Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) Awards for 2018, the lender honoured for its efforts.
Recall that recently, the financial institution was bestowed with the Best Bank of the Year Business Support/Entrepreneur Development at the Africa Value Award 2018. It was also adjudged as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2018 by Capital Finance International (CFI.co) and as the Agriculture Bank of the Year 2018 by the Nigeria Agriculture Awards (MAA).
Heritage Bank was further honoured for being the Best CIBN Chapter of the Year 2018 in terms of members’ mobilization and participation as well as sponsorship of the Institute programmes; Most Supportive Bank of the Year at the fourth edition of Green October Event 2018, organised by Alamode Magazine amongst others.
Speaking at the highly-rated NYPF Awards for 2018, a non-governmental organisation, in Abuja, MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr Ifie Sekibo, who was immensely honoured by the award, said it speaks volume of the bank’s efforts to demonstrate its commitment towards developing and positioning youths to become world-class citizens equipped and ready to be absorbed into an increasingly competitive workforce.
“One of the reasons why we chose, as an organization, to support the entrepreneurial growth and welfare of youth is to see young men and women play vital roles in the socio-economic development of the country and help curb the high level of unemployment,” Mr Sekibo said.
The MD, who was represented by Mr Jubril Adeojo, Team Lead, Power Corporate Banking, said Heritage Bank is positioned to lead the recovery of the Nigerian economy through enhancing youth entrepreneurship development and engendering self-employment via its various initiatives and products.
According Mr Sekibo, the drive to continue in the support of youths was to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.
He explained that the entrepreneur schemes of the bank in the support for business had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Mr Sekibo restated that the aim of Heritage Bank being in the forefront of youth empowerment is to emancipate the latent entrepreneurial spirit in the teeming youths, by providing adequate and affordable loans to execute their business ideas and, hopefully, migrate them to successful Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), thereby, providing the mechanism of stimulating growth, reducing unemployment as well as addressing youth restiveness in the economy.
Chairman of the NYPF, Mr Moses Siloko Siasia, disclosed that the NGO’s success stories and feats attained were made possible by the supports from Heritage Bank. He also commended Mr Sekibo for taking it upon himself to support NYPF.
He hinted that the forum, in the last five years, was able to make a lot of milestone achievements like providing employment for 780 unemployed youths nationwide.
However, NYPF, as part of events to celebrate its fifth anniversary, gave out honorary awards and scholarships to several dignitaries, and students, yesterday.
All the award recipients, according to the organizers, were thoroughly considered and shortlisted in recognition of their meritorious service in support for nation building and advancement of democracy, development and good governance in Nigeria.
Some of the beneficiaries of the awards are the Imam of Nghar Village, Gashish district in Barkin Ladi, Plateau State, Abdullahi Abubakar alongside Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of AfDB, Dr. Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, Deputy Governor of Kano State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, governors Ifeanyi Okowa, Okezie Ipkeazu.
Others were Senator Daisy Danjuma, Chief Osasumwen Igbinedion CEO, TOS TV Networks and Dr. Elisha Attai, Founder of AWLO and Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive of Connected Development CODE, whilst Diplomatic award was presented to the Embassy of Spain, Nigeria.
Diamond bank partners Facebook to support young entrepreneurs
Diamond bank Plc in collaboration with Facebook and Affrinolly is set to project Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs to the digital world.
Addressing journalists, Area Manager, Ikeja branch of Diamond Bank Plz, Chigozie Onyecha, said that, Diamond bank believes in small and medium enterprises.
He said that it was the reason, the bank in partnership with the named firms is embarking on digital marketing training for entrepreneurs particularly in the entertainment industry.
According to him, the aim is to help individuals with feasible and viable initiatives to reach out to the global space by providing an online platform for networking, financial aid, advisory, business clinics workshop and technical know-how.
“We are poised to boost talents in young people provided their initiatives are bankable” he stated.
Speaking for Facebook, the creator trainer, Ewonro Amune, for Afrinolly, said facebook America and its partners are working to help small and medium entrepreneurs to do their businesses online.
According to him “we want them to leverage on the social media tools to boost and enhance their performance, build community and make profit”
Ewonro further stressed that facebook is offering business owners knowledge by showing them ways businesses ought to be done in the 21st century, adding that, it’s like showing people how to fish instead of giving them fish.
“It’s up to creators to harness their potential by keying into the Data world because Data is the new oil to explore the world and any entrepreneur who is not in the Data world is playing. So Facebook is offering a lot of incentives for Nigerians, all they need is to show themselves approved” he added.
Meanwhile the Executive Director, Legal & external networks, for Afrinolly, Jane Maduegbuna, said Afrinolly with its partners are helping young people to identify and position their brand identity, saying that the training is geared to make entrepreneurs monetize their products.
“we want to bring at least 300 viable ideas to the fore and we expect them to explore the digital world to market their businesses.
FirstBank restates commitment to SMEs, Agric sector growth
By NAN (Oluwafunke Ishola)
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has expressed its commitment to the growth of the agricultural value chain and creating opportunities for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive in the country.
Its Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney, made the assertion at the fourth edition of Fiesta of Flavours in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Fiesta of Flavours is a food and beverage fair that provides an avenue for participants to fully experience the entertainment, art and business of food.
The fair organised by FirstBank in collaboration with the Eventful Ltd, connects SMEs with prospective customers toward boosting sales, exposure and business growth.
Ani-Mumuney said that the financial institution was committed to helping SMEs in the food sector to grow and develop, while promoting economic diversification.
According to her, SMEs are critical to the development of the nation’s economy and should be supported by all stakeholders in the overall national interest.
Also, Mrs Yewande Zaccheus, the Chief Executive Officer, Eventful Ltd., said that the initiative had created a platform that converges SMEs and customers in a relaxed atmosphere while promoting business activities.
Zaccheus said that many SMEs, especially those in the online space has leveraged on the opportunity of the fair to create awareness about their products, forge more partnerships and client base.
She said that many businesses that were showcased had grown through the platform and impacting positively on the economy.
Commenting, Mr Olisa Adibua, the Managing Director, Perception Media, said that the fair had assisted in showcasing the best in local and international cuisine, not just to Nigerians, but the international community.
Chef Tiyan Alile, the Founder, Culinary Academy and Culinary Consultant for Fiesta of Flavours, said that the fair provided a platform for vendors and customers to connect and also serves as a family day out.
“The hospitality industry is growing so much that people need offtakers.
“Contacts are exchanged at the fair and symbiotic relationship that leverages on various expertise from farm, packaging and culinary development are made,” Alile said.
She said that many jobs had been created with the fair through various trainings, seminars and competitions that empowers SME operators and visitors at the fair.
Commenting, Mrs Arinola Shobande, Head, Corporate Communications, Enyo Retail and Supply Ltd., said that the company was at the fair to enlighten consumers about standards of gas cylinders and also supply them with gas.
Also, Mrs Omolola Ezeifeoma, the Managing Director, Creative Foods Concept, commended the bank for the platform, saying that the fair helped her network to create awareness about her business activities. (NAN)
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