The management of Sterling Bank Plc in partnering LEAP Africa held training program for more than 1,000 SME operators during the 12th yearly CEOs’ Forum held in Lagos.
The programme which has the theme: “Managing Growth for Profitability” is aimed at developing dynamic, innovative and African leaders in small business. It is also intended for participants to gain key insights from leading industry professionals and entrepreneurs on effective growth strategies for growing highly profitable businesses.
Speaking at a press conference at the corporate headquarters of the bank, Henry Bassey, Chief Marketing Officer of Sterling Bank said the bank was particularly excited to partner with LEAP Africa on this programme because this year it has decided to amplify its focus on SMEs as it has been positioned as a start-up bank.
Bassey disclosed that identifying partnerships with companies like LEAP Africa would further reinforce the bank’s ability to achieve its goals better.
While the Founder of LEAP Africa, Mrs. Ndidi Nwuneli thanked Sterling Bank for supporting her company for the past two years to organise the annual event.
She said, “We decided to focus on the theme of this year’s programme: Managing Growth for Profitability because it’s been a tough 24 months for SMEs in Nigeria because of the challenges facing the country.”
Nwuneli said they really believed that in spite of the challenges, SMEs can survive in Nigeria if they have the right business fundamentals, adding that the theme of the forum is really focused on how an entrepreneur can grow his company profitably because he can have growth and not be profitable or have minimal profit.
According to her, they want companies in Nigeria to grow profitably by putting in place the right systems and structures, governance, the right human resources, strategies because talent is key to success, the right financial systems, control and financial management tools as well as innovation.
The Founder said, “We need SMEs to be at the cutting edge of development and that is why they are thinking about their next phase of growth. Also speaking, Mr. Femi Taiwo, director of programmes with LEAP Africa, said their annual CEOs forum is a forum where they bring more than 1,000 SMEs to discuss issues relating to business growth and management.
He said they had done it for 11 years and this year they are having a bigger version to discuss people’s management, financial management, innovation and marketing, adding that everything is geared towards managing growth for profitability.
Some of the speakers at the forum include Mr. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), principal partner at Kenna Partners and a professor of corporate governance at the Lagos Business School, Mrs. Tara Fola- Durotoye, CEO, House of Tara International and Seyi Abolaji, CEO Wilson Juice Company,
Others are Nnamdi Ezeigbo, Founder/CEO Slot Systems Limited, Omolara Akinfolarin, Head, MSME, Sterling Bank; Peter Bamkole, Director, Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Edith Azinge, Executive Director, EMEDITH Consulting, Mrs. Bisi Adeyemi, Managing Director, DCSL Corporate Services Limited as well as Mr. Adebayo Akinwunmi, Hartford Green Consulting.