In recognition of the significant role SMEs play in achieving sustainable growth and development in the economy of the country, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, would host SMEs in its second edition of the SME Business Clinic. The event, themed “Building a Sustainable Business,” would hold on February 25 and 27, 2020, in Port Harcourt and Abuja, respectively.
SMEs are encouraged to take the FirstBank SME diagnostic tool by visiting its dedicated website in order to stand a chance to be among the participants that will be in the SME Business Clinic in Port Harcourt and Abuja. The FirstBank SME diagnostic tool is designed for SMEs to check the health of their business, better understand it and drive profitability. The SME clinic will feature one-on-one business advisory services, mentoring, networking opportunities and participants will also be acquainted with the requisite knowledge and business tools needed to drive efficiency in the day-to-day operations of their business.
Speaking on the event, Gbenga Shobo, deputy managing director, FirstBank, said, “At FirstBank, we are proud of the giant strides we have taken over the years towards enhancing the SMEs for their businesses to thrive, have a fair play in the market and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of the country. We remain the trusted financial partner of SMEs and reiterate our resolve to be known as the brand that enables their success; much the same way that we have for over 125 years enabling Nigerians and the economy at large”.
The coaches at the event are Seye Olurotimi, Lead Consult at Cedar Tribe Limited, an SME branding expert and business growth consultant with vast experience helping SMEs grow effective brands and Robert Yakubu, founder of the Instabiz Academy and the Business Mastery Program, a digital entrepreneur and business strategist empowering entrepreneurs, marketers and business professionals in Port-Harcourt and Abuja respectively.
The SME Clinic session is organized in partnership with SME Traction, a leading business coaching platform aimed at empowering SMEs to make informed choices about their businesses, thereby facilitating growth and bolstering their contribution to the development of the economy.
Zedcrest unveils digital wealth management subsidiary
New-age financial solutions powerhouse, Zedcrest Capital Limited, recently launched a wholly owned subsidiary and new Investment/Asset Management firm aimed at digitally democratizing investment in Africa.
The new company, Zedcrest Investment Managers (“ZIMVEST”) will introduce digital private wealth and investment management, help clients grow wealth by beating inflation and currency risks through multicurrency investments, through best in class paperless processes
According to Saheed Adedayo Amzat, Founder and Group CEO of the Zedcrest Group, CFA, “ZIMVEST’s differentiating factor will come from the renowned expertise of the Zedcrest group in the global financial markets. This is evidenced by the leadership position of its global markets business, Zedcap Partners which bagged the 2019 best brokerage service award of FMDQ OTC. The Group also has a wide distribution experience garnered from setting up another subsidiary, Zedvance, a top-three consumer lender in Nigeria.
Adebisi Sanda, Chairman of Zedcrest Group and former Managing Partner of Ernst & Young, said: “The launch of the Asset Management business ties in nicely with our plan to dominate every important vertical of Financial services: our four pillars of global markets, investment management, lending and payments. Despite some growth in the last decade, capital formation in Nigeria is still relatively low compared to our frontier/emerging market peers. The total AUM of the contributory pension scheme, at 10 trillion is just under 10% of GDP compared to South Africa at 63% of GDP. The non-pension AUM at about 1.2 trillion is very low and represents a clear growth opportunity, one which we are going after.”
Gbenga Adigun, the newly hired head of Asset Management who left his posh job at one of the country’s top three asset management firm, believes ZIMVEST would leverage on the Group’s remarkable capacities and capabilities to launch the firm into the top five players in 5 years.
“I am delighted at the focus and vision I met on ground at Zedcrest Group and excited at the unique opportunity we have to create tremendous impact. In the coming months, we will be unveiling new well-thought-through products to meet the investment needs of the public. We would have propositions for the salaried employees, entrepreneurs, HNIs, corporates, governments and family offices”, Adigun said.
He also showered glowing praises on the Management of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for the support in granting the operational license in record time.
With the current thrust of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to drive inclusive growth in the economy, returns have fallen tremendously as fund managers have been locked out of the Juicy Open Market Operation market, in favour of foreign investors who bring the much needed foreign currency inflows. Most fund managers are expected to have negative real returns in 2020, a situation Zedcrest attributes to the unusual dependence on risk-free government securities investments.
Unilever revises principles for marketing food, beverages
In a bid to curb childhood obesity, which the World Health Organisation has listed as one of the most serious public health issues of the 21st century, Unilever has redefined its principles for marketing food and beverages to children both in content and placement. The company in a blog post disclosed it will no longer target adverts to children under 12 owing to the rising concerns about childhood overweight.
According to the post, “it is a move designed to help parents, caregivers and kids make informed choices about the food and drinks they buy, and to address the rise of social media, and the vast increase in products on sale.”
Stressing that it will not direct any social media at kids under 13, the prime Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) giant said it will restructure its influencer policy to discontinue the use of influencers under the age of 12, nor influencers who primarily appeal to children of same age bracket.
More so, Unilever plans to limit the use of cartoon characters in Point of Sale communication materials while also ensuring that Wall’s kids ice creams do not exceed 12 grams of sugar per serving, in addition to a maximum of 110 calories per portion.
The updated Unilever’s principles tagged ‘Responsibly made for kids’ is built on three pillars -‘Responsibly Developed’, ‘Responsibly Communicated’ and ‘Responsibly Sold’; intended to help parents and caregivers select foods, drinks and ice creams for their children. The company further disclosed that its flagship brand, Wall’s ice cream would be utilized as a lead platform for experimenting the ‘Responsibly Made for Kids’ campaign promise. The new marketing campaign would be implemented before the end of 2020.
Medplus opens pharmaceutical outlet in Victoria Island
Medplus, one of Nigeria’s leading health and beauty retail companies committed to helping Nigerians live and feel good, recently launched a new pharmaceutical outlet at Victoria Island, Lagos.
With its stated mission to provide a holistic approach to healthcare among consumers by caring for the mind, body, and spirit, the new outlet further promotes the brand’s commitment to providing the best products and services in different parts of the state, while also serving to improve healthcare services in the country.
Speaking with guests during the launch, Senami Atika, Marketing Manager, Medplus Nigeria, expressed her excitement on the launch of the new store, stating that the outlet will provide residents in Ligali Ayorinde and its environs better access to affordable health and beauty products.
“With over 50 stores nationwide, we are focused on building a solid healthcare and beauty foundation for our customers to create better lives for them and improve the community at large. The creation of this new outlet is to ensure that customers can have more access to us without any hassle. Medplus is here to offer a holistic approach with the possibility to take advantage of affordable health and beauty products with access nationwide,” she said.
During the ceremony, the company also provided free health check for customers, as it continues to set new standards for sustainable healthcare by adopting new practices to build a desirable wellness and fitness future.
Winners emerge in BIC Art Master Africa competition
BIC, a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers, named “Black Lion,” a half-man, half-lion portrait by artist Fatiou Aboudou from Cotonou as the winner of its 2019 BIC Art Master Africa competition. The original piece took 250 hours to complete and was drawn using only black BIC Cristal Medium ballpoint pens.
The BIC Art Master competition was first held in South Africa in 2017 and following its success it expanded to include all of Africa in 2019. The creative artwork was chosen from 5,242 entries submitted by more than 2,400 artists from 47 African countries on the competition’s dedicated website BICArtMaster.com. ‘Black Lion’ was chosen for its creativity and originality by a panel of experts and is set to become part of ‘La Collection BIC’, the company’s official art collection. Aboudou was awarded the grand prize of $1,000 and a personalized gallery to showcase his artwork.
In addition to Aboudou, Kansiime Brian emerged as the contest’s People’s Choice winner, chosen by online voters for his piece titled ‘Life’, which depicts the true definition of a young girl’s happiness. Brian received $500 and a BIC Artistry Kit.
Commenting on the success of the competition, Peter Van den Broeck, General Manager, Middle East and Africa said, “Africa is doubtfully rich in inspiration, talent, and creativity. We were very impressed with the submissions we received and the beautiful work that was produced using only BIC’s ballpoint pens. BIC has a longstanding history with art, and we are proud to have established a platform that helps recognize and shed a stronger light on artistic talent in Africa.