By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Young entrepreneurs have been assured of access to funds and markets across Africa so as to take their businesses higher.
This assurance was given by the Managing Director/Regional Executive of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, when he had a Brunch With Entrepreneurs in Lagos.
The entrepreneurs were those who pitched their business ideas on the TV reality show, Lions’ Den Season one program, sponsored by Ecobank.
“This interaction is a continuation of our journey of building Pan African multinationals by hosting these young entrepreneurs that have debuted on Lions’ Den program, the reality show being produced by our partner, Ultima productions.
“Lions’ Den is a program that exposes promising entrepreneurs to potential investors who are called Lions. The Lions are businessmen and women who have pedigree, who know what it takes to make a success of a business.
“They are bringing their wealth of experience and capital to the stage to assist people with brilliant and creative ideas. I mean young Nigerians, females, and males, willing to take up the challenge of future Pan African entrepreneurs,” Mr Akinwuntan stated.
He disclosed that the bank is offering its platform, Pan African network, digital offerings, and all necessary support to make the young entrepreneurs achieve their dream.
“Ecobank Nigeria is an affiliate of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI). We are present in 35 countries in Africa and global presence in Dubai, London, Paris, and Beijing. We provide unique opportunities and platforms to access finance, access to markets across Africa, skills, and resources.
“This is for all the young entrepreneurs that presented business ideas at the reality show, whether the Lion’s invested in their business or not. The fact that they have reached the level to pitch for equity or venture capital, they are qualified as entrepreneurs in the making.
“We will support them with our various digital payments and collections such as Omnilite; SME academy, appropriate financial package, and mentorship to enable them to achieve their dreams and become world leaders,” he added.
Advising the young entrepreneurs on how to pitch and get investors, one of the Lions, Mr Dan Ngerem, Chairman of Hensen Group, urged them to maintain the originality of their business idea and remain focused in their presentation.
“The keyword here is to be original. Ensure you think through your project from conception, stick with the originality. Do not cannibalize your idea. Don’t oversell yourself or the project to impress, remain focused, sharpen your presentation skill, do not be scared while presenting and take notes,” he said.
He thanked Ecobank for offering its platform for budding entrepreneurs to explore and achieve their dream.
Chief Executive Officer, Ultima Studio, Femi Ayeni, applauded Ecobank’ decision to also assist the young entrepreneurs whose business idea could not get investors in the reality program, explaining that the partnership with Ecobank on the project is borne out of a passion to assist young entrepreneurs to achieve their dream.
Cross-sections of the young entrepreneurs were full of praises for Ecobank and partners for giving them the platform to realize their dream.
According to Idorenyin Akpabio, founder/Creative Director, Aideeology, a company that conceptualize and create interactive and intellectually stimulating tabletop games for the education and recreation of kids, teens and even adults, the meeting with Ecobank management was insightful, stressing that the engagement has added a lot more value to him and to his digital rolodex.
“We had an audience with the Ecobank MD and his amazing team. We had insightful discussions on Entrepreneurship Development, Start-up Funding, FinTech, the Pan-African Market etc.
“He took time to explain Ecobank’s vision and plans for Entrepreneurs, and candidly answered all questions we posed to him. It was worthwhile chatting and networking with these financial heavyweights. This has added a lot more value to me and to my digital rolodex. Behold, a pregnant future beckon,” he stated.
Obukovwo Etudoh, Chief Executive Officer, ClassiClicks Limited, a firm that manages primary and secondary schools in using Games like Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly, Coding, said her appearance on the reality show is a dream come through. She said though her business was not selected, she is optimistic that she could still achieve her goals through Ecobank.
Lion’s Den is a reality show produced by Ultima Studios and sponsored by Ecobank. It provides budding entrepreneurs investment opportunities through successful pitches.
The reality show airs every Sunday at 7 pm on AfricaMagic Family, Channels 154 on DSTV and GOTV Channel 2; with repeat broadcasts on Wednesdays at 3 pm and on Fridays at 5 pm on Africa Magic Urban, DSTV Channel 153.
Ecobank Named Best Trade Finance Bank in West Africa
By Adedapo Adesanya
Ecobank has been named the Best Trade Finance Bank in West Africa at the prestigious Global Trade Review’s Leaders in Trade awards held in London last month.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the lender announced that the award comes as recognition of its solutions for domestic and regional supply chain financing across key trade corridors as well as the bank’s arranger roles and participation in key soft commodities campaign financing across West Africa, notably covering cotton, cacao, soya beans and cashew nuts.
Ecobank’s offerings are supplemented by its state-of-the-art E-trade module under the Omni Plus platform and its products are positioned to support both Corporate and Investment Banking and SME customers in leveraging on the African Continental Free Trade Area’s opportunities and growing intra-African trade.
The judges also recognized Ecobank’s Trade Services solutions, which led the bank to command significant market share on Letters of Credit across the continent, leveraging on its Paris-based affiliate, Ecobank International, for confirmations, payments, and discounts.
Commenting on the recognition, Mr Souleymane Diagne, Group Head, Trade Finance, Ecobank, said: “As a Pan-African bank with the largest footprint across the continent, a major ambition of Ecobank is to be the preferred trade bank for SMEs and corporates across Africa. We are committed to enabling them to take advantage of the immense growth opportunities fostered by the game-changing African Continental Free Trade Area.
“This accolade from Global Trade Review provides welcome recognition of the impact we are making through our suite of trade products and solutions, which include Structured Trade and Commodity Finance, Trade Services and Supply Chain Finance.
“For our customers and partners in West Africa and throughout sub-Saharan Africa, we are resolved to continue delivering value through our trade and multi-currency payments solutions, leveraging on our African expertise and our network’s advantage.”
Ecobank works closely with clients and leverages partners within and outside Africa in reviewing key aspects of transaction dynamics, including settlement, financing, risk mitigation, credit enhancement, syndications and applicable regulations.
Corps Members to Get N10m Business Grant in Unity Bank Corpreneurship Challenge
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A business grant of N10 million is available for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) service in various states across Nigeria.
The funding package is being provided for by Unity Bank Plc through its flagship entrepreneurial development initiative, Corpreneurship Challenge.
The scheme is in its eighth edition this year and will benefit corps members across 10 locations in the country, including a debut in Delta and Rivers States.
Recall that in 2019, the retail lender commenced the Corpreneurship Challenge scheme in Abuja, Lagos, Edo and Ogun States but with the increasing traction among corps entrepreneurs, the bank has now expanded the programme to 10 states across the federation.
The first expanded edition covered Lagos, Ogun, Abuja, Edo, Katsina, Enugu, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Kano and Kaduna and this year, it will hold for the first time in Rivers and Delta as well as making a return to Sokoto, Edo, Abuja, Akwa-Ibom, Osun, Kano, Bayelsa and Enugu.
The Corpreneurship Challenge, which has earned the financial institution national recognition for its impact on youth empowerment and job creation, has continued to elicit growing interest among the corps members, attracting over 2000 applicants and participation in every edition.
In partnership with the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED), the initiative prominently features a business pitch presentation that provides the participants with the opportunity to present their business plans and stand a chance to win up to N500,000 cash in the business grant.
Previous editions saw participants pitching business plans from several sectors including software solutions, fashion, fish production, poultry farming, bee farming, retail chains, and piggery to beverages which were assessed based on originality, marketability, and future employability potential of the product and knowledge of the business.
So far, Unity Bank has invested over N100 million in the initiative which has now produced 58 winners since it was launched.
Digital Transformation Solutions for Banking
Digital transformation is a hot topic in banking. Banks are looking for ways to become more agile, to better serve their customers, and compete in a digital world. In this article, we’ll discuss the digital transformation solution for banking. Keep reading to learn more about digital transformation and how it can help the banking industry.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of transforming how an organization operates to better meet the needs of its customers and employees. It includes changes to organizational structures, processes, and practices that allow the business to take advantage of digital technologies and channels to improve performance and outcomes. Digital transformation can be applied in any industry, but it’s particularly relevant for businesses in highly regulated industries like banking, where there are large legacy systems that need to be modernized.
Banks are under pressure from both consumers and regulators to upgrade their technology infrastructure. Consumer demand for new services like mobile banking and payments has put pressure on banks to offer digital experiences that are fast, convenient, and secure. At the same time, regulators are increasingly focused on ensuring that banks have robust cyber security measures in place to protect customer data. Digital transformation can help banks address both of these challenges by helping them modernize their technology infrastructure and improve their cyber security posture.
What factors should banks consider when digitally transforming?
There are a number of factors that banks must take into account when planning their digital transformation. One of the most important is to ensure that the new architecture can support multiple channels and devices. This will allow customers to interact with the bank in the way that is most convenient for them. They may want to use the bank’s website on their computer, their mobile phone, or even a tablet. They may also want to use the bank’s services through social media, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Another important factor to consider is the range of services that the bank offers. The architecture must be able to support not only traditional banking services but also new services that are being developed specifically for the digital age. These may include things like mobile payments and money transfers.
The final factor to consider is the security of the new system. Banks must ensure that their customers’ data is protected at all times. This includes both the data that is being transmitted through the various channels and devices, as well as the data that is being stored.
Developing an architecture that can accommodate multiple channels and devices is essential for banks that want to undergo a successful digital transformation. It will allow them to provide a range of services that meets the needs of their customers, and it will ensure that their data is always protected.
What benefits will be seen once the solution is implemented?
The banking sector is under pressure to invest in digital transformation to remain competitive and meet the needs of customers, who are increasingly using mobile devices and online channels to conduct transactions.
There are several benefits that banks can expect to see once they implement digital transformation. First, banks can improve customer experience by making it easier for customers to conduct transactions through convenient online and mobile channels. In addition, banks can reduce costs by automating processes that were previously done manually. This will allow banks to operate more efficiently and make more money available to invest in other areas such as product development and customer service. Finally, digital transformation can help banks stay ahead of the competition by enabling them to offer new services that cater to the needs of modern consumers.
Cloud migration is a popular digital transformation solution for banks.
Cloud Migration is one of the many digital transformation solutions for banking. It is the process of moving enterprise applications and data to the cloud. The benefits of cloud migration include improved efficiency, scalability, and agility. Cloud migration can also help reduce costs and improve security.
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to migrate to the cloud. One of the most important is the business case. The benefits of cloud migration need to outweigh the costs. Another consideration is the readiness of the organization to move to the cloud. The organization must have the right infrastructure, processes, and culture in place to be successful.
The cloud can be a complex environment and not all applications are suitable for migration. Applications need to be evaluated to see if they are cloud-friendly. They need to be able to run in a cloud environment and be able to scale up and down as needed.
Once the decision to migrate to the cloud has been made, the organization needs to develop a plan. The plan should include the steps needed to migrate the applications and data. It should also include the resources needed and the estimated time to completion.
The cloud migration process can be complex but there are also many benefits to be gained. Organizations that are able to successfully migrate to the cloud can improve their efficiency, agility, and scalability. They can also reduce their costs and improve their security.
Banks can use big data analytics to digitally transform their organizations.
Big data analytics is one of the solutions that banks are turning to in order to stay ahead of the curve.
The use of big data analytics can help banks to gain a better understanding of their customers, and to identify and understand potential risks. It can also help banks to improve their customer service, and to develop new products and services.
Big data analytics can help banks to make better decisions by providing them with insights that would not be possible to obtain using traditional methods. It can also help to improve the efficiency of banking processes and to reduce costs.
The use of big data analytics is becoming increasingly important, and banks that don’t embrace it will likely find themselves at a disadvantage. Those that do adopt big data analytics will be in a better position to take advantage of the opportunities that digital transformation solutions present.
Digitally transform your banking business.
Digital transformation solutions are important for banking because they can help organizations to improve customer experience, increase efficiency and agility, and reduce costs. Overall, these solutions can help banks to compete in the digital age and provide better services to their customers.
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