100 Entrepreneurs Get N8.5m from Heritage Bank
By Dipo Olowookere
In continuation to its commitment to creating jobs, wealth, as well as deepen financial inclusion, Heritage Bank Plc has empowered 100 aspiring and existing young micro entrepreneurs in Ajegunle, Lagos State with a grant scheme of about N8.5 million.
This is being executed in partnership with the Center for Value Leadership (CVL), as part of the Heritage Bank various impact-driven programmes to empower the youths and women particularly in the under-developed communities in Lagos State and one of these is the Young Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP).
Specifically, the programme involves grooming, mentoring and financing up to 100 aspiring and start-up entrepreneurs in Ajegunle, Lagos State. The business lines of focus for the programme are majorly: hair dressing, footwear cobbling, tailoring, and catering services.
A statement made available by the bank’s Group Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Fela Ibidapo, disclosed that the funds would be used to purchase the equipment needed by the entrepreneurs to start their businesses.
He explained that under the grooming aspect of the programme, the entrepreneurs went through a 3-month intensive capacity building training programme in the areas of keeping accounting records, financial discipline, sales and marketing in order to equip them with the knowledge base needed to succeed as entrepreneurs.
To further drive financial inclusion, he hinted that the business mentors on the programme opted to be part of the Heritage Bank’s Agent Banking Network in order to extend banking services to the people of Ajegunle community, essentially make banking easily accessible for the people.
According to him, the management of Heritage Bank believed that the essence of financial inclusion is not only about opening accounts for the unbanked and under-banked (low-income) people, but it is also significantly centred on financially and socially emancipating them for the common good of the community – This is the ultimate objective of the programme.
Mr Ibidapo further explained that the entrepreneurs underwent a month hands-on internship/mentoring experience with the business mentors to understand and be acquainted with the technical skills needed for each specific business lines, under existing and experienced business owners in Ajegunle.
“Also the business mentors, will provide further support to the aspiring entrepreneurs when they start their business in the terms of gaining access to market.
“In line with the strategic focus of the scheme to aid ease of finance, HBL is collaborating with CVL to set up a grant fund. This was in form of an equity finance to release to the entrepreneurs to fund the setting up of their business by purchasing start-up kits and work tools, as well as provision of working capital,” he explained.
At a graduation ceremony in Ajegunle, one of the graduates of the scheme, Miss Chinyere Kwuneme, who was presented with a generator and hair dryer, expressed appreciation to Heritage Bank and CVL and said the gesture would relive her of further expenses in the future.
Mrs Chikereuba Nkechi, a graduate of Fashion Design, who was also a beneficiary, and presented with an ‘over locking machine and a mannequin’ said she was surprised when invited to come and collect the equipment. “I felt overwhelmed and surprised. I didn’t know they would go through with it, but I am indeed grateful to Heritage Bank and CVL for their support,” she said.
Ms Aminu Khadijat, another beneficiary of the programme, expressed her satisfaction and lauded Heritage Bank for supporting the initiative which she said would add value to her life.
Bitfinex Lists World’s First Mobile-Native Token Wrapped Minima
By Adedapo Adesanya
Bitfinex has listed the wrapped Minima ($WMINIMA) token, an ERC-20 token, aimed at helping build a truly decentralized network that empowers freedom worldwide and increases access to Web3 for any person with a mobile or IoT device.
Bitfinex is one of the first crypto exchanges to list WMINIMA, built on the world’s first mobile-native Layer 1 blockchain.
Minima’s presale for WMINIMA started on February 14, 2023, with 10 million tokens currently acquired out of the total supply of 125 million $WMINIMA tokens.
Traders on Bitfinex are taking this new innovation as a huge opportunity to become early adopters of the $WMINIMA token, by making deposits and purchases during the presale period. Effective 21st of March, 2023, on Bitfinex, trading for WMINIMA against the US Dollar (USD) and Tether tokens (USDt) will be available for all traders.
Wrapped Minima (WMINIMA) is a wrapped version of Native Minima (MINIMA), which has been issued on the Ethereum blockchain. Wrapped Minima (WMINIMA) enables Minima to be tradable on exchanges shortly after its Token Generation Event, without waiting for the technical integration of Native Minima ($MINIMA) onto exchanges, scheduled for Q3/Q4 2023. WMINIMA has an initial circulating supply of 98,100,000 coins and a total supply of 125,000,000 coins, with a listing price of $0.30.
The move is part of Bitfinex’s efforts to bring financial inclusion and financial freedom to less-advantaged and emerging communities around the world, particularly where there is currency volatility.
By becoming an owner of Wrapped Minima on Bitfinex, users will be helping build a truly decentralized network that empowers freedom all around the world.
The Minima protocol and its network have already been built, with Mainnet recently launching after several years in Testnet, yet Minima is still relatively unknown.
As a result, there is still a huge opportunity to become an early adopter of the world’s first mobile-native layer 1 blockchain before it becomes widely adopted.
How to trade WMINIMA on Bitfinex
WMINIMA is available to trade with US Dollar (USD) and Tether tokens (USDt). To sign up now, follow these few easy steps:
- Visit the Bitfinex website or download the Bitfinex mobile app and click on the sign-up button.
- Use the African Bitfinex LEOs community affiliate code “9r9ifKfHx” to get a 6 per cent discount on trading fees for life.
- Create an account by entering the required details: username, email, password, country of residence, and referral (optional).
- Create and confirm a log-in pin code or enable touch ID or face ID, if your phone enables it.
- You will be directed to the setup security page. Here, download the Google Authenticator app. If already downloaded, select the “I’ve installed the app” tab.
- Open the GA app to directly add your new token. Alternatively, you can also select to use the QR or Setup key. Enter your code to enable 2FA setup.
- Check your inbox to confirm your email address via an email sent by Bitfinex.
- After email confirmation, accept the Bitfinex Terms of Service to complete the account setup and proceed to the trading page.
- Once that is done you can now trade the WMINIMA on Bitfinex.
CBN Releases N12.65bn for Three Agricultural Projects in Two Months
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed N12.65 billion to the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), its flagship agriculture intervention scheme, in the first two months of 2023.
The Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said this on Tuesday in Abuja when he read the communique issued at the end of the 290th meeting of the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
According to Mr Emefiele, the total disbursement under the ABP since its inception by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2015 is N1.09 trillion.
“Between January and February 2023, the bank disbursed N12.65 billion to three agricultural projects under the ABP,” he said.
“It brings the cumulative disbursement under the programme to N1.09 trillion to more than 4.6 million smallholder farmers cultivating or rearing 21 agricultural commodities on an approved 6.02 million hectares of farmland,” Mr Emefiele added.
According to Mr Emefiele, the improved performance of the economy has been driven largely by sustained growth in the services and agricultural sectors.
He also cited a rebound in economic activities associated with economic recovery and continued intervention in growth-enhancing sectors by the CBN as responsible for the growth.
He said that the CBN had also disbursed huge sums as an intervention to various other sectors of the economy.
“The CBN also released the sum of N23.70 billion under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility to eight new real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, and services.
“Cumulative disbursements under the Real Sector Facility currently stands at N2.43 trillion disbursed to 462 projects across the country, comprising 257 manufacturing, 95 agriculture, 97 services, and 13 mining sector projects,” he said.
He said that the apex bank also released N3.01 billion under the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF-2) for capital and operational expenditure of electricity distribution companies (Discos).
He said that the facility was aimed at improving the liquidity status of the Discos, there aiding their recovery of legacy debt.
“This brings the cumulative disbursement under the facility to N254.39 billion,” he said.
UK Firm Unveils Portal to Aggregate Property Prices in Africa
By Adedapo Adesanya
Baron and Cabot, a UK-based international real estate firm, has launched a portal that will use artificial intelligence technology to predict property prices in Africa to allow real estate agents to sell properties and earn in pounds, providing an unprecedented opportunity for growth and financial success.
The novel approach will allow real estate firms to de-risk their investments in international markets and gain access to a wide range of fully compliant properties.
Baron & Cabot has been particularly successful in Africa due to inflation driving clients to move their money into GBP and Dollar to purchase assets. It is one of the top fastest-growing property companies in the world and transacts around £100 million per annum ($120 million) of UK property while having access to some of the best property developments in the UK.
Speaking on this, Mr Mark Pearson, Managing Director of Baron & Cabot, said, “We are thrilled to be launching this innovative concept that will not only provide a platform for real estate agents in Africa to sell UK properties but will also create job opportunities and drive economic growth.
“We believe that by leveraging AI technology to predict property prices, we can provide our partners with a unique advantage and help them to achieve financial success. Our joint venture expansion plans are aimed at creating mutually beneficial partnerships that will bring value to all parties involved.”
In addition to providing agents with access to new revenue streams, Baron and Cabot’s property portal is also expected to create new job opportunities in the African market.
The company also revealed that it would provide its agents with comprehensive 2 to 4-week training and support to help them succeed in their new roles. This training will ensure that agents are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the real estate market and take advantage of the opportunities that Baron and Cabot’s concept provides.
As part of its offering, Baron and Cabot will provide clients with mortgages anywhere in the world (excluding war zones), with mortgage rates lower than 6 per cent and deposits below 35 per cent, making it easier for clients to invest in UK properties.
“Our management company boasts an impressive occupancy rate of over 99 per cent, with properties awaiting new tenants for an average of only 10 days. This sets us apart from other cities around the world, where the average occupancy rate is only 70 per cent.
“In addition, our Airbnb or short-term rental products have an average occupancy rate of over 70 per cent, resulting in substantial rental returns and secure investment. Our secret to success lies in our ability to identify high-demand areas with low supply, combined with exceptional management that keeps both our tenants and landlords satisfied,” Mr Pearson added.
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