valentine

ALAT Offers Customers A Platform To Express Love This Valentine

The special season, that inspires different individuals to look for the most creative and unique ways of expressing love is here again,

ALAT by Wema, Nigeria’s leading digital bank, has stepped up to assist in expanding the pool of ways its customers could express their love in exciting ways to their loved ones. The bank has announced the “Express Love with ALAT” campaign, which is an opportunity to celebrate the 2023 Valentine’s Day, in a memorable and rewarding way.

The eight-day promotional offer that includes an online creative competition, is slated to commence on the 7 February, and close on the 14th of February, with the gift of cash rewards and other incentives to winners.

Morolake Philip-Ladipo, Acting Head, Brand and Marketing Communication at Wema Bank, informed that the bank’s customers are very central to all they do at Wema Bank, hence the reason they are always on the lookout for avenues, to show their appreciation to them, and this offer is just one way of expressing this gratitude.

“It’s February 14, a day to celebrate, not just personal ties or relationships but also professional relationships. This campaign is an avenue that will help us express our love and value for our customers internally and externally, while nudging them to do likewise to their loved ones.”

Morolake said, the campaign will launch with an announcement asking customers to express love in the form of art, music, poetry or their individual love language (acts of kindness, giving etc.)

From, transfers of cash to someone with a description that ends in “I love you”; gifting someone an experience with ALAT Rewards; paying the bill of a loved one using ALAT or *945#; , to sending someone some airtime or data using ALAT to catch up with them over the phone.

Philip-Ladipo said the promotional campaign promises to be exciting and called on everyone to avail themselves of this wonderful opportunity, to express their affection to their loved ones, in different ways.

“There’s no gainsaying that the campaign is going to be an exciting one, and it’s open to both existing and prospecting customers of the bank who stand the chance of winning fantastic prizes. More information is available on ALAT’s social media pages” she concluded.

money trends

TRENDS, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMEs IN 2023

The beginning of every year presents businesses with an opportunity to take stock, restrategize, set ambitious new targets and map out plans to achieve those targets.

 

As with every other year, the year 2023 has been welcome with great hope and expectations. Following what was a challenging year 2022 for various businesses and economies around the world, many are hopeful that 2023 would be the year that they would recover lost ground and rediscover their growth trajectories.

 

Being an election year, 2023 presents unique challenges and opportunities for businesses operating within Nigeria. To help businesses in the country, especially SMEs, to adequately plan for the new year and identify and harness the opportunities that it presents, Wema Bank PLC has sampled the opinions of leading experts across different industries and specializations to get their views and outlook for 2023. Those interviewed are Taiwo Oyedele, Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PwC; Oluwatosin Olaseinde, founder, Money Africa, and co-founder, Ladda; Gospel Obele, founder, Streetnomics; and Ladi Asuni, a technology consultant.

 

GOSPEL OBELE – MACROECONOMIC OUTLOOK FOR 2023

 

Q1 : What is the overall outlook for the Nigerian economy in 2023 and what effects are the upcoming presidential and state elections in Nigeria likely going to have on the economy?

Gospel Obele: The outlook for the Nigerian economy is largely mixed. There are so many uncertainties this year. Elections are going to take the bulk of Q1, transitions are going to take the bulk of Q2 and understanding and having a clear direction around the policy direction of the new president will take the bulk of Q3 and maybe Q4. These plus all the other global narratives such as the looming recession and the cost-of-living crisis have made it a very uncertain year. On the flip side, it is also a year that requires us to position and take advantage of new opportunities that are emerging. I wouldn’t say that it is downtime year, I would say that it is a year mixed with uncertainties and the rise of opportunities hinged around change in leadership.

Q2: Inflation was a major talking point in 2022, with the Government rolling out several policies in the past year to curb inflation. Do you expect these policies to finally kick in and help to reduce the inflation rate in the country in 2023?

Gospel Obele: Policies usually have an effect on the economy either immediately or over time. The conversation around whether the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent policies will have an impact on inflation is still a developing story. We also must take into context other international factors like the Russia-Ukraine War, the climate change narrative, the post-COVID-19 narrative and how all these things have impacted on food and energy prices. To a large extent, these are the major pressure points through which the cost-of-living crisis hits heavily globally and on the Nigerian economy. At best, the policies that have been introduced by the government have been largely reactionary and monetary, but the construct of this inflation is not monetary. So, we are expecting and watching to see if the policies will have an impact on inflation. But I don’t see them having that significant impact on inflation in the mid to long term.

Q3: The naira plunged to record lows against major global currencies, especially the US dollar, in 2022. Should we expect a rebound of the naira or should we expect it to plunge further in 2023?

Gospel Obele: I envisage a further worsening of the exchange rate, because there are a lot of factors that are strongly informing and reinforcing the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar. The major factor is that we are not a primary productive economy. Many may argue that the naira exchange rate has more to do with international events than local events, but I think that it is a mix of both. The strength of the currency and its ability to withstand internal and external pressures is a function of how strong the economy is and how competitive the goods and services produced by the country are in regional and global markets. On these counts we have technically not done so well. Structurally, we are not productive. Being a consumption-driven and reactionary economy, the naira will still be at the mercy of international currencies, especially the US dollar. Let us also take into cognizance that the fact that the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States is doing everything it can to strengthen the position of the dollar in comparison to other currencies.

Q4: What industries do you predict will witness the highest growth in 2023 and how can SMEs in these industries tap into the opportunities?

Gospel Obele: To a large extent, I think that technology will rise on new fronts and more industries will see newer expressions of technology. The cost of doing business is fueling the need for Nigerian SMEs to rethink how they model their business and how they execute propositions. As a result, a lot of businesses will go techier and more digital. Another major industry that I see picking up this year is food and agriculture. Despite threats like flooding and the Russia-Ukraine War, this will be a high-growth industry. However, SMEs in food and agriculture need to play differently to go against the headwinds of inflationary pressure. Thirdly, I think real estate will pick up during the year. Many Nigerians in diaspora will be seeking to bring investments home and lock down these investments in appreciating assets. Another industry is logistics and mobility, primarily spurred by the new infrastructure that is being introduced in Lagos, Abuja and the like, and SMEs should leverage these to scale. There are a couple of other sectors as well, such as media and communication (because of the strong push of digital and social media) and, to a lesser extent, manufacturing.

OLUWATOSIN OLASEINDE ON  INVESTMENT OUTLOOK FOR 2023

Q1: 2022 was a difficult year for stock markets around the world, with tech stocks being the most affected. Are tech stocks still good investment options? Do you foresee a resurgence in global tech stock prices in 2023 after the crash of 2022?

Oluwatosin Olaseinde: Anyone investing in stocks needs to have a long-term view of at least a decade and have a balanced portfolio beyond tech stocks. If the above conditions are met, then one can always invest in tech stocks with good fundamentals. It’s a bit hard to forecast how global stocks will perform this year. One of two scenarios could play out: a mildly positive performance year or a year as rough as 2022.

Q2: What investment instruments are likely going to yield the highest returns in 2023? In other words, where should people invest for the best returns in 2023?

Oluwatosin Olaseinde: It is near impossible to forecast what investments will give great returns this year, with economic growth expected to slow down. Last year, cash was the best performing asset globally. Anyone investing should have a balanced portfolio split across low-, medium-, and high-risk investments. I would tilt more towards low-risk investments such as cash and savings and medium-risk investments like money market funds for the first quarter of the year.

Q3: Are there little-known investment options and instruments that Nigerians can invest in to realize good returns and guard against soaring inflation in 2023?

Oluwatosin Olaseinde: If you’re taking inflation from a domestic perspective, there’s barely anything that would beat inflation of over 20%. The prudent option for those with a long-term term view would be to pursue low-risk dollar options. In the mid to long term, inflation should fall back to the 12% to 15% mark. The closest options in this case would be either money market mutual funds or high-yield savings. One can begin investing in those with as little as N5000. For those with an investment horizon of a year or less, the above also applies. Stick to Naira options such as money market funds and high-yield savings.

 

 

 

 

LADI ASUNI – TECHNOLOGY OUTLOOK FOR 2023

Q1: 2022 was a difficult year for many tech businesses in Nigeria and around the world. Do you see tech companies and investors’ confidence in tech companies rebounding in 2023?

Ladi Asuni: According to “Africa: The Big Deal” report which tracks tech investments across the continent, Nigeria recorded a USD1.2bn investment in 2022 compared to the record $1.7bn the prior year (2021). While there seems to be a decline (30%) in the deal value from prior year, looking at the actual number of deals which was about 286 shows a 15% growth in transactions from the prior year with two Fintechs recording mega deals over $100m – i.e., Flutterwave ($250m Series D) and Interswitch ($110m). Despite the decrease in investments for Nigeria, the overall performance of the continent for the year 2022 suggests a moderately sustained growth of about 5% from 2021 which may be sustained into 2023. There is no doubt that there is still some interest in the African market.  However, there is need for cautious optimism and a more moderate growth outlook than we have seen in the years prior to 2022 as the struggling global economy continues to take its toll on Startup funding across the globe. Nigeria remains a preferred destination for startup funding amongst other destinations like Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa who each accounted for total investment value exceeding $500m.

Q2: What tech trends and innovations do you see emerging or gaining ground in 2023?

Ladi Asuni: Developments in Artificial Intelligence is arguably the biggest technology trend of 2022 which is expected to carry through to 2023 in terms of application and full-scale commercial deployment. With ChatGPT 3 – by OpenAI – setting a new record when more than 1 million users enrolled within the first 5 days of it being made available to the public. Similarly, we are seeing AI adoption in the image generation space with the likes of Dalle-2, Stable Diffusion and MidJourney being adopted and used at scale. The use cases for AI adoption are enormous and we can expect to see more AI- driven automation integrated into day-to-day technologies, interactions, and general utilisation for solving problems in different industries. Some interesting use cases in financial services include, financial advisory, customer services, sales support etc. The massive and rapid adoption of these AI tools will definitely be a game changer. Other technology trends we can expect may include greater adoption of smart phones and devices leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) to get increasingly integrated into regular consumer electronics (TVs, Refrigerators), vehicles and other day-to-day lifestyle technologies. 5G adoption is also expected to scale. The confluence of all these emerging technologies will birth new technology adaptations as innovators apply them to solving problems at scale.

TAIWO OYEDELE – TAX OUTLOOK FOR 2023

Q1: Many SMEs in Nigeria have been complaining of multiple forms of taxation at the federal, state, and local levels of the government. Do you foresee a continuation of the government’s aggressive approach to taxation as it strives to meet its revenue target in 2023, especially with an expected change in administration?

Taiwo Oyedele: Nigeria’s multiple taxation issue is an age-long problem. Unfortunately, every successive administration in the past decades talks about it but does nothing or even ends up adding more to the problem by enacting additional earmark taxes. While the foundation of the problem can be traced to the fiscal federalism structure as contained in the Constitution, the practical manifestation is attributable to the poor fiscal leadership and revenue mismanagement by the country’s leaders. Evidence has shown that introducing more taxes does not necessarily result in higher tax revenue collection but rather it creates excessive burden on taxpayers, dampens tax morale and fuels tax corruption. My expectation is that Nigeria will begin to make a turnaround in 2023 with the new government such that various multiple taxes are repealed and the government concentrates on a few, broad-based, easy-to-administer taxes with commensurate fiscal exchange provided for taxpayers. Also, the next government needs to harmonize revenue collection agencies and restrict the revenue administration function to one agency per level of government.

Q2: What can the government do differently in 2023 and beyond to meet its tax target without jeopardizing the growth of SMEs in the country?

Taiwo Oyedele: Government must introduce business- and growth-friendly policies that reduce over-regulation, excessive bureaucracy, and manual tax administration. If SMEs are allowed to grow, they will create more employment and contribute to economic growth which in turn leads to a wider tax net and broader tax base. Also, technology should be deployed to simplify tax compliance and link all economic activities to a central identity system to track and punish tax evaders.

 

 

Author 

Chinedu Nnawetanma.

Wema Bank Plc’s Stocks Emerged As Best-performing Financial Stocks On The Nigerian Exchange In 2022 Financial Year

In a report titled “The Best Performing Stocks in Nigeria in 2022,” Nairametrics compiled and analyzed the best-performing stocks in 2022, comparing their share prices as of December 31st, 2021, and December 30th, 2022. The analysis considered all 159 publicly listed companies during the period.

According to the report, Wema Bank’s share price appreciated by a whopping 441.7 percent. This helped it to close the 2022 year at N3.9, down from the 72 kobo recorded at the end of 2022. The bank recorded a healthy 51% increase in gross earnings in the first nine months of 2022 and a 31% increase in post-tax profit. Investors rallied around the bank’s stocks despite a general downturn in most banking stocks during the year.

Similarly, Wema Bank declared a final dividend of 24 kobo per ordinary share to its shareholders in 2021.

This fuels speculation that increased profitability in 2022 could suggest a better dividend payout to shareholders. The Nigerian equity market rallied by 19.98% in 2022, higher than the 6.07% recorded in the previous year.

After many years of dividend freezes, the bank has resumed dividend payments to shareholders in the last three years. Wema has modernized its processes and has increasingly leveraged digital technologies to serve its customers, boosting efficiency and productivity in the process.

Additionally, the bank enjoyed a profitable year in terms of its financial performance and equity performance. Nairametrics ranked the bank as the best-performing commercial bank in the first half of 2022 based on metrics from its financial statements. Wema Bank also won the “Highest Dividend Yield” award at the Pearl Awards in 2022.

Multiverse Mining Company was another of last year’s best-performing stocks. Meyer Plc, Thomas Wyatt Plc, and Academy Press Plc, among others.

WEMA Bank Plc announces CEO Retirement and Appointment of new MD/CEO

December 2022 – Wema Bank PLC announces retirement of its Managing Director/CEO.

Managing Director/CEO Ademola Adebise to retire from Wema Bank Plc; with effect from
March 31, 2023.

Moruf Oseni, current Deputy Managing Director appointed as Managing Director/CEO

Wole Akinleye, Executive Director appointed as Deputy Managing Director and Tunde
Mabawonku appointed as Executive Director.

 

Click here to download the full release.

plan your finances in 2023

MAKING THE RIGHT FINANCIAL PLANS IN 2023: TIPS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS

Finance is the most important aspect of business management. Every business, whether it is a large corporate or a non-profit, depends on money to function. Businesses need money to procure raw materials and other inputs, engage in production, hire and pay employees, market their products and services, and pay taxes to the government.

 

Despite its immense importance and centrality to business success, many entrepreneurs are still struggling to get a hang of financial management. To help you to set your business apart in 2023 and position it on a trajectory of long-term success, we have identified 6 key financial management best practices that will help you to achieve better business outcomes in 2023 and beyond.

 

  1. Separate your business and personal finances: The first step towards cultivating financial discipline as an entrepreneur is to separate your business and personal finances. And the first step towards achieving this is to open a dedicated bank account for your business. Doing this will enable you to channel all the transactions that are coming from your business through this account. You will also be able to get a snapshot of your business’ financial performance by viewing its bank transaction history.

 

  1. Record Your Transactions and Maintain Updated Financial Records: Bookkeeping is the most basic aspect (and one of the most important parts) of accounting. It is the process of recording the sales and purchases arising from your business. It is the foundation upon which other accounting processes are built because it supplies the data that will be used for further financial analysis. Do not just make purchases and receive payments without recording them.

 

  1. Periodically Analyze Your Financial Performance: You should regularly monitor your business’ financial performance. It is not enough to record your finances and maintain good bookkeeping practices if you are not going to use them for anything. Your transactions are merely raw data that need to be further processed for better decision-making.

 

  1. Get an Accounting or Financial Management Software: If your business witnesses high sales volumes, this would be the right time to get an accounting or financial management software to help you to manage your finances better. Fortunately, there are several reputable free software available on the internet that can help you do the job.

 

  1. Pay Yourself a Salary: As a business owner, you need to treat your business as a separate entity and not just an extension of yourself. This means that your company’s money is not essentially your own money. Strictly speaking, as a separate entity, any money that you put in the business should be considered a loan from you to the business and any money that you take out of it should be considered a loan from the business to you. Indiscriminately drawing from your company’s coffers to meet your personal needs will strangulate its growth. As an entrepreneur, you should put yourself in the payroll and pay yourself a salary that your business’ financial performance can accommodate.

 

  1. Get the Right Type of Financing: Not all types of financing are suitable for every business. Businesses, depending on the industries that they operate in, their stages of development and other factors, require different types of funding. For instance, a bank loan may not be suitable for a startup, while venture capital may not be the best financing option for an importation business. Identify the type of funding that is suitable for your business before you approach financiers because this will increase your chances of fundraising success.

 

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Author

Chinedu Nnawetanma
RETAIL AND SME

Wema Bank calls for the growth of the Fintech industry

 

Wema Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative bank, has called for more support for Fintech companies so Nigeria, like her peers, could optimally benefit from the possibilities that the Fintech industry offers. The bank made this call at The Fintech Summit (TFS) 2022 by Techpoint, which recently held in Lagos.

 

Speaking at the summit, Olamide Jolaoso, the bank’s Head of Data and Analytics, said that the country needs many Fintech companies to come on board to meet the wide spectrum of Nigerians’ Fintech needs.

 

“Some people are of the view that there are already too many Fintech companies, especially start-ups in Nigeria, but I do not agree with them. We have a population of over 200 million people with varying financial needs and appetites that are yet to be satisfied by the existing Fintech service providers. We need more Fintech companies that solve many specific problems and not just a group of Fintech companies who are doing the same few things as we currently have.”

 

He mentioned that Wema Bank has established itself as a dominant player in the Fintech space through the creation of ALAT, which has provided a platform for other Fintech companies to operate.

 

“Wema Bank created ALAT, the first fully digital bank in Nigeria, and on whose platform many Fintech companies run their operations. As an important player in that ecosystem, we see the need to grow the industry and create more opportunities for the upcoming players.”

 

He informed that ALAT By Wema, a branchless and paperless bank, was created to drive transformation and redefine experiential banking in Nigeria’s banking sector. 

 

“The platform has eliminated the stress of having to walk into a branch that prospective customers face anytime they want to open an account. ALAT by Wema offers them a seamless sign-up process using a mobile phone, PC or tablet. Since the release of this award-winning app, the bank’s customers, who have come on board the app, have been full of excitement as it helps them save more.”

 

Jolaoso noted that Fintech companies are already the core fabric of our daily lives, creating apps that help millions of Nigerians to save, transact, invest and do an insurance. He also made a case for more measured investments in the Fintech industry for the growth and sustainability of the sector.

 

“One of the many ills plaguing the Fintech industry in Nigeria is the paucity of investment in the sector. This results from the fears that industry start-ups may lack the focus and discipline that drive sustainability and profitability. For us, however, we believe that while there a need for considerable investment to strengthen Fintech companies, there is also the need to establish adequate measurement indices to validate if these firms are meeting their goals and objectives or not,” Jolaoso concluded.

 

The Fintech Summit by Techpoint, with the theme, ‘Fintech is Everything; Exploring how new strains in financial technology touch society in ways you never imagined,’ brought together key players in the industry for a day of insightful conversations, panel discussions, product exhibitions, and many more activities that border around the Fintech industry.

 

Wema Bank Brings Christmas Fun To Theatre Lovers With Duke of Shomolu’s Performances

Wema Bank, Nigeria’s most innovative bank, has thrown its weight behind the Duke of Shomolu (DOS) Production, one of the fastest growing theatre franchises in Nigeria, in its four-stage plays slated for December 2022.  

 

According to Morolake Philip-Ladipo, the bank’s Acting Head of Marketing Communications and Investor Relations, “more than giving theatre lovers a special experience for the yuletide, the sponsorship shows the bank’s demonstration commitment towards the growth and development of arts and culture in the country.”

 

Morolake also disclosed that Wema Bank has been supporting theatre performances in the country for over five years given the social impact of stage plays to both the artists and to the audiences.,

 

“Theatre brings humour and learning, and Duke of Shomolu’s plays give us a lot to learn with the historical plotlines he explores.”

 

She called on all lovers of theatre to avail themselves of the opportunity offered by the DOS Production and have a refreshing recreation with their families and loved ones.

 

“This season is always a period of relaxation for Nigerians, and as we celebrate Christmas and New Year holidays, I urge everyone to turn out to watch any of Awo, Our Duke Has Gone Mad, Ogiame Erejuwa and Ufok Ibaan, lined up to be performed by DOS productions.”

 

The four-stage plays will come to live every weekend, starting from December 10 – 26, 2022 at 4 P.M. and 6 P.M. each day at the Muson Centre.

 

 

An Audacious Christmas: How ALAT Is Putting Fun In December For Everyone

The Christmas and New Year celebrations is always an exciting season for everyone, and ALAT is making it extra fun for its customers and non-customers alike this year.

In a campaign themed “An Audacious Christmas: The ALAT Experience”, the digital banking platform is rewarding customers and non-customers with exciting gifts for a 12-day period. The campaign which kicked off on Monday, December 12, 2022, will also see staff of the bank rewarded for their audacity in the past year.

“We have relatively common experiences, and sometimes circumstances could weigh a person down, but having made it to the end of the year, we believe it is proper to reward some of our customers,” said Morolake Philip-Ladipo, Acting Head of Marketing Communications & Investor Relations, Wema Bank.

 

“For our campaign, we started by asking people to share their audacious stories and moments of kindness they have experienced in the year, and for this we have cash rewards and other gift items to help them celebrate this Christmas,” Morolake added.

 

The campaign, the bank stated, also involves a variety of fun and engaging activities for customers, prospects, and staff, ranging from sharing treasure hunts to puzzles, social media challenges and much more. Interested participants would have to interact with ALAT on its social media platforms and make transactions consistently to stand a chance of being selected as winners.

 

“Children are not left out,” Morolake explained. “We are having a shopping spree for some of the kids who have a Royal Kiddies Account with us where they get a chance to shop for anything they want in a select mall on our bill.” Morolake enthused that the plan is to encourage parents to keep saving for the future of their kids while providing a fun experience for children this season. 

Other rewards include free concert tickets, free bus rides, premium healthcare plan for women, among others. The campaign ends on December 23, 2022.

For more information, follow ALAT on @alat_ng on Instagram and Twitter and ALAT By Wema on Facebook.

 

christmas shopping

How to Boost Your Sales During the Christmas Season

 

The Holiday season, built around Christmas, has officially begun. For many businesses around the world, it is the peak sales season of the year.

 

In the United States, for instance, the total Holiday retail sales hit $889 billion in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation of the United States, growing by 13.5% over the previous year. Similarly, in Western Europe, consumers are expected to spend about $366 billion in Christmas shopping this year.

 

In Nigeria, the Yuletide is also the season when many businesses in the retail industry witness the highest demand and sales. Nigerians spend as much as 16% of their annual income on Christmas shopping every year, according to a report by World Remit.

 

While the current economic downturn in the country has reduced the consumers' spending power and is threatening to dampen Christmas sales, business owners can still position their businesses for healthy revenues by taking the steps outlined in this newsletter.

 

 

Download ALAT For Business

 

  1. Invest in digital marketing: The importance of digital marketing in today's business world cannot be overemphasized. Globally, there are around 5 billion internet users. In Nigeria, about 80 million people (or almost 1 in 2 Nigerians) have access to the internet. With the digital media, it has now become easier and more cost effective to gain visibility and reach your target audience. Despite this, it is surprising that many businesses in the country are yet to tap into the potentials of digital marketing. By bucking this trend and investing in targeted digital marketing, you can give more exposure to your business and generate a lot of leads that you can convert to paying customers.

 

  1. Offer discounts: The current economic downturn in the country is biting hard on the Nigerian consumers. Amidst rising inflation, spiraling cost of living and dwindling income levels, every kobo saved matters a lot to the average consumer. Therefore, something as simple as a marginal reduction in the prices of your goods and services in comparison to those of your competitors can encourage customers to gravitate towards your business.

 

  1. Leverage past and existing customers: It is easier to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. This is because you do not need intensive marketing to convince existing customers to buy from you as they have actually bought from you in the past and, if your product or service met or exceeded their expectations, they are likely to buy from you again when the need arises. This is in addition to their ability to help you to acquire new customers at no cost through word-of-mouth marketing and the referral of their friends, family members, colleagues, and associates to your business. This Christmas season is a good time for you to reach out to your past and existing customers. Send them goodwill messages, cross-sell, upsell and resell to them. However, leveraging past and existing customers is without prejudice to the importance of acquiring new ones as you would ultimately need new customers to expand your sales in the long run.

 

  1. Ask for referrals: Turn your satisfied customers into your indirect marketers. Ask them to refer people within their networks to your business if they are satisfied with your product or service.

 

  1. Join and leverage professional and business networks: Professional and business networks are associations of like minds. People join them for various reasons, ranging from access to information to belonginess. But the most powerful purpose that they serve is the business purpose. People in the professional and business associations that you belong to are not only your potential customers, but they can also put you in contact with other people that they know who may need your products and services. However, before you dive straight into sales and marketing, it is important that you first build meaningful and mutually beneficial connections with them and provide value. That way, your sales pitch will look more genuine when it eventually comes, and they will not perceive you as yet another self-centered salesperson.

 

 

Author- Chinedu Nnawetanma

Wema Bank SME Business School Trains 156 SMEs in Port Harcourt

Small and medium enterprise (SME) owners and other participants at the just-concluded Wema Bank SME Business School held in Port Harcourt have lauded the bank for the capacity development initiative.  A total of 156 participants comprising SME customers and non-customers of the bank attended the 4th edition of the Wema Bank SME Business School, which was designed to impart business management skills and first-rate entrepreneurial knowledge to SMEs operating in the South-South region of the country.

 

The Wema Bank SME Business School was launched in Lagos in 2021 to boost the capacity and skills of SMEs and help them to achieve their objectives. The second edition took place virtually, while the third edition happened in Abuja. The fourth edition which recently held in the South-South geopolitical zone of the country, has further helped to equip SMEs in various parts of the region with the requisite business management knowledge and skills to effectively run their enterprises and respond to the ever-evolving challenges of today’s business world.

 

A participant, Uche Onochie, commended Wema Bank for the knowledge-laden program, which she said had broadened her perspective on SME management. “Wema Bank is trying for me; they have made me what I am today. They are the reason why my business is where it is today,” she said.

 

Another participant and SME owner, Udoh Mfon Peter, expressed gratitude to the bank for the highly impactful program. He added that it was one of the most beneficial things that happened to him. “It was a real MBA, a live MBA program,” he said.

 

For Dr. Mercy Abu, the program was packed full of the requisite ingredients for business success. “I thought I knew a lot before this program, but I can tell you I have more knowledge after this,” she said.

 

The just concluded SME Business School, which took place in Port Harcourt, had a robust curriculum that spoke directly to the issues that have held SMEs in the country back. The faculty also comprised of experienced and highly knowledgeable subject matter experts across various aspects of business management.

 

Among the topics covered were a Macroeconomic Review of Nigeria; Business Strategy and Innovation by Reap and Arcenciel; Sales and Marketing by Matt Anthony Consulting; Financial Management and Taxation by Deloitte; Personal Branding by Nexford University; and Business Risk and Reputation Management by Parminder Vir, OBE. Arthur Nkemeh and Oluwaferanmi Owolabi of Wema Bank PLC also made presentations on Financial Literacy and Customer Experience Management respectively.

        

After the programme , Arthur Nkemeh, Head of SME Banking at Wema Bank PLC, expressed his appreciation:  “We appreciate our partners and facilitators for the programme. Most importantly, I would also like to thank the participants who took time off their busy schedules to be with us in the programme.”

 

“We will continue to organize programmes such as this that will deepen access to capacity development for SMEs in the country. For our customers, we will continue to offer them superlative banking experience that cuts across both financial and non-financial services,” he said.

 

The Wema Bank SME Business School 4.0 was held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Ken Saro Wiwa Road, Port Harcourt from November 14 to 18, 2022.