On Tuesday, 26th November, First bank organised a conference for the SME’s. The conference was held at the Oriental hotel, Victoria Island and the theme for the event was, “SMEs at the heart of National Development: Creativity, Capacity and Capital”.
At the conference First Bank plc announced its mission to support an online social commerce portal for businesses. This online platform enables businesses to register their business free and sell goods and services to the public.
Kolawole Ogunmekan head, virtual channels business, e-business group of First Bank stated that, “We are giving the businesses direct visibility to the customers. 3AL.com is a platform where businesses come and showcase their business, DHL does the delivery and First Bank guarantees all the payments”.
It was also noted that customers who patronise these businesses via the online platform will pay for the goods and services via First Bank’s electronic payment cards. The money comes into a First Bank account and the seller (business owner) will tell them the account it was paid into. Though money transfer from bank to bank is now easier, but business owners have been advised to have an account with First bank.
“If SMEs do not want to incur any cost on the transfer they need to have an account with First Bank because there would be charges on the transfer. Depending on the value of the item, the customer may not need to make payment upfront,” stated by Kolawole.
The First Bank group managing director, Bisi Onasanya said in his welcome address that the conference was “dedicated to spotlighting a critical aspect of the national economy that holds the key to sustainable economic development and long-term survival as a nation” which aligns with the theme of the conference.
Keynote speakers at the conference were, Ibukun Awosika, group CEO of the Chair Centre Group, Sim Shagaya, founder of Konga.com and DealDey,com, Kofo Akinkugbe, chief executive, SecureID Limited, Audu Maikori, chief executive, Chocolate City Group, Ndidi Nwuneli, co-founder AACE Foods, etc. They shared their success stories to inspire the participants, to bring out the creativity in fellow entrepreneurs, to make innovation a priority in their businesses and to stay focused on their dreams.
First bank SME connect promises to have engaging programs for the SME’s and with that there will be regional conferences, also sector specific capacity building initiatives. This is actually to give the SME’s a promising future in this country Nigeria.