• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Sterling Bank, SMEDAN Concert Forces To Establish Nigeria’s Biggest SME Database

ByHybrid News

Jun 28, 2023

Sterling Bank, one of Africa’s rapidly expanding companies, has recently joined forces with the Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to establish a comprehensive database of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

This collaboration aims to enhance intervention programs and provide tailored solutions that genuinely contribute to the growth of SMEs.

The signing ceremony occurred in Lagos, where the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, expressed his optimism about the partnership.

He highlighted that collaborations driven by opportunity, rather than regulation, often yield positive outcomes.

He regarded the alliance as one of those promising ventures, emphasizing that their cooperation was not compelled by external regulatory pressure.

Suleiman stressed the significance of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) and acknowledged the critical role of data in economic development while stating that the agreement signifies the beginning of a journey towards a formalized economy, enabling effective government intervention when required.

Suleiman also noted the importance of SMEs having access to capital based on their historical data.

To achieve this, he highlighted the need to foster an environment that motivates SMEs to self-report, even if it is merely for eligibility for SMEDAN services.

Furthermore, Suleiman emphasized that self-reporting is the initial step for small and medium-sized businesses to become auditable institutions.

Sterling Bank is fully committed to dedicating its resources to the success of the MoU and will advocate for government support of SMEs. Suleiman emphasized that the outcomes of this collaboration will benefit not only Sterling Bank but the entire banking industry.

The Director General of SMEDAN, Mr. Olawale Fasanya, expressed his appreciation for the bank’s initiative and highlighted the immense value of the MoU to SMEDAN’s operations. Fasanya stressed the criticality of data in their activities, citing their recent online registration of SMEs.

Although approximately 3.8 million SMEs have been registered through this initiative, the data still requires cleaning.

Fasanya noted that accurate data availability would enable SMEDAN to connect SMEs operating within the same market.

The Chief Product Officer at Sterling Bank, Mustapha Otaru, described the bank’s approach to managing SMEs as an ecosystem and underscored the importance of collaboration with SMEDAN and the federal government. He acknowledged that progress is unattainable without such partnerships.

Otaru stated that Sterling Bank not only provides access to finance but also aims to nurture SMEs and support their growth from micro to corporate levels. The bank accomplishes this through innovative solutions such as its common facility for fashion entrepreneurs and special bundled offerings.

Otaru explained that Sterling Bank’s products are strategically designed to align with its HEART (Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation) strategy, which the bank adopted in 2018 to focus its investments on key sectors of the economy.

The Head of SME Products at Sterling Bank, Bolanle Tyson, explained the integral role of SMEs in economic growth as she expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership with SMEDAN, envisioning a lasting collaboration that leverages combined resources to drive economic growth.

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