Beneficiaries of the maiden SME Business School by the leading innovative financial institution, Wema Bank, have commended the novel and impactful initiative, disclosing that they have gained immensely from it. The Wema SME Business School, which is another premier scheme from the pioneering bank, equips micro, small and medium enterprises with the managerial skills to effectively run their businesses, and respond to challenges in an ever demanding business environment. The five-day free training program, held at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos from August 16 to 20. It had 50 participants. The curriculum for the program is robust; it spans the areas of finance, marketing and sales, leadership, technology, branding, strategy, innovation and business transformation.
Nigerian and international business consultants from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Germany, Ernst & Young, Matt Anthony Consulting, IBFC Alliance, and Kuhl-Cher were part of the facilitators at the Business School. Two beneficiaries, Emmanuel Elo-Irawo and Adesuwa Oguocha commended Wema Bank for the initiative, saying that they had gained immensely from the Business School. Elo-Irawo who operates a frozen fish chain, said, “They blew my mind because I wasn’t expecting much. I thought it was a forum where they would gather us and give us one or two pieces of information. The sessions were very revealing, and I now have more knowledge of how to run my business. There is no way Nigeria will develop without trainings like this, and I am very pleased to be part of it.”
Adesuwa Oguocha, Creative Director, Adesuwa Couture described the sessions as “awesome.” Her words: “I am at a stage, where I need to scale, and I want to get things right. So far, it has been expository. It’s been explosive. Yesterday alone, the quality of what we learnt, I have already started taking mental and written decisions concerning my business. The good thing about this training is that it is practical. You have room to air your concerns and get clarifications. My advice to anyone who isn’t here is to try to apply for the next cohort. It’s worth your time.”
Commenting on the training, Head, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Wema Bank, Arthur Nkemeh, assured that the institution would not relent to helping SMEs scale and grow their businesses. He added that the opportunity is not just for its customers but for all Nigerian SMEs. “For us, it is not just about our customers. It is about our passion in supporting and developing SMEs, creating employment, and impacting the economy. SMEs consist of about 90 per cent of the businesses in the country and they are the highest employer of labor. If we continue to support MSMEs to grow their businesses and scale, they will create more employment and impact the entire ecosystem.” He added that the training affirms the bank’s commitment and passion for MSMEs that it has supported in its 76 years of its existence. He disclosed that the class would have been larger, but the bank needed to observe the COVID-19 protocol and that there would be virtual and physical classes in select cities. “After this session, we will have online sessions to enable more MSMEs to participate in the Business School program. We will mix it with some physical sessions. Next time, we might move to Abuja or Port-Harcourt to have a regionalized program.”