Consistent with its quest to build capacity amongst SME players and deepen the development of small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria, FirstBank’s Deputy Managing Director, Gbenga Shobo will play host to over 100 SME entrepreneurs across various business sectors at the maiden edition of the 2016 EDC/FirstBank SME Breakfast Series – The Economy and You!. The Breakfast Session will take place at 10am on Tuesday, 19th April, 2016, at the Lekki–Epe Expressway premises of Enterprise Development Centre, a School of the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.
FirstBank commenced the sponsorship of an SME Radio programme, The Economy & You! in 2015 and it has featured over 30 entrepreneurs since its debut. The programme, which is broadcast live every Sunday at 6:15pm on Rhythm FM (Network) with a repeat broadcast streamed on the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) website www.edcradioonline.com every Wednesday is a joint initiative of EDC and First Bank of Nigeria Limited. The overarching objective is to educate, inform and build capacity for small business owners by providing them with the information and resources needed to grow their businesses.
The weekly programme focuses on live interviews of industry experts, accomplished SME entrepreneurs and regulators who take listeners through the process of identifying and making use of opportunities that abound for small and medium businesses in the economy. Discussions also dwell on how SMEs can prepare business plans, budget, deal with tax issues and government policies etc. The breakfast session with FirstBank’s Deputy Managing Director would strengthen the Bank’s interaction with SMEs and provide practical help to support their business.
According to Mr. Gbenga Shobo, DMD, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the SME market is one of the Bank’s strategic platforms to stimulate economic development. “It remains our business to foster the growth and development of small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria as the No1 SME Bank in Nigeria”, he further stated.
Some of FirstBank’s interventions towards the growth of SMEs include African Start-Up on CNN, the sponsored TV documentary on CNN showcasing SME success stories across Africa; SME toolkits in association with EDC (Enterprise Development Centre of Pan-Atlantic University) for empowering small businesses; Ignite (an afterschool graduate employability and enterprise training initiative); constant social media engagement; and the SMEConnect website which is at the heart of all FirstBank’s SME activities. The website www.firstbanknigeria.com/smeconnect also provides links to archival materials from the “The Economy and You” programme as well as other resource materials. It also serves as a channel to obtain feedback from customers and communicate the Bank’s products and services targeted at SMEs”.