Dear esteemed reader,
On August 12, 2023, we celebrated International Youth Day and took a moment to reflect on the vital role of young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. We also highlighted how Wema Bank is empowering these innovative minds and contributing to their success stories.
Youth Entrepreneurship: The Nigerian Context
Nigeria's youth are truly remarkable when it comes to entrepreneurship. Their innovative spirit is unlike any other, and they are leading the charge when it comes to creating jobs, driving economic growth, and introducing new ideas. With over 60% of the population under the age of 35, it's clear that the future of Nigeria's economy lies in the hands of these young entrepreneurs and their Small and Medium Enterprises. Despite facing numerous challenges, they continue to break barriers and challenge traditional business models. Their contributions to the nation's GDP are impressive, and they are paving the way for a future where youth engagement is at the forefront of every industry.
Within the startup landscape, Nigeria's vibrant young entrepreneurs are creating ripples. They're harnessing advanced technologies to address gaps overlooked by traditional businesses and to confront urgent socio-economic issues. Spanning sectors like finance, agriculture, and healthcare, these trailblazers are setting new business trajectories. Their initiatives attract substantial venture capital and foreign investments, positioning Nigeria prominently on the global entrepreneurial stage.
Our Mission, Your Future
At Wema Bank, we are committed to empowering lives through innovation, with a special focus on youth entrepreneurs. We believe that Nigeria's rapid and sustainable development requires the creativity, ideas, and dedication of young people, and we are dedicated to nurturing their entrepreneurial dreams and aspirations.
Stories of Success
Our journey has been enriched by the extraordinary stories of young entrepreneurs who have utilized our financial and non-financial support to achieve incredible success. For instance, Endurance, a 29-year-old brand developer, saw exponential growth in his startup after participating in our Wema SME Business School program. Similarly, Jide, a 35-year-old technician, leveraged our support to create a thriving business.
‘’Attending the Wema SME Business School provided me with valuable networking opportunities and lasting business knowledge that I will always treasure as a brand developer. Thank you, Wema Bank’’. - Endurance (29)
Key Youth-focused Initiatives by Wema Bank
As the oldest indigenous bank in Nigeria, we have over 78 years of experience in banking. We have interacted with and served millions of customers, providing us with an unparalleled understanding of the needs of entrepreneurs and enterprises of all sizes in the country, including young entrepreneurs and their businesses.
To meet the ever-evolving needs of youth entrepreneurs and SMEs, we introduced initiatives tailored to them. In 2017, we launched ALAT, Africa's first fully digital bank, to align with the lifestyle and aspirations of millions of young Nigerians and make banking seamless. With ALAT for Business, young entrepreneurs can access banking services easily without visiting physical branches.
Our hackathon initiative, Hackaholics, provides a platform for the next generation of entrepreneurs to ideate, brainstorm, and build solutions for the future.
Wema SME Business School equips youth entrepreneurs with tools, business acumen, and industry insights to navigate the business world and grow their ventures sustainably. The SARA initiative empowers young female entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.
Earlier this month, we partnered with the Nigerian Federal Government's Office of the Vice President to provide digital skills training to 1.5 million youth entrepreneurs and professionals in 7 pilot states.
Our impact extends beyond our own initiatives through strategic partnerships with various governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations. Collaborating with the Federal Government of Nigeria and domain experts, we offer holistic support for youth entrepreneurship.
Our partnership with MasterCard Foundation and the Enterprise Development Centre is helping thousands of female business owners in the agribusiness and creative sectors to scale their businesses and reach new markets.
Our commitment to developing youth entrepreneurship is long-term. We constantly create new strategies, innovative digital products and programs to encourage, support and empower youth-run businesses.
Your Turn to Act
We welcome you to join us on our exciting journey towards building a stronger and more prosperous Nigeria. You can open an account, apply for a loan, participate in our training program, partner with us, or help spread the word. Visit our websites (www.wemabank.com or www.alat.ng) or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
As we celebrate International Youth Day, we at Wema Bank reaffirm our commitment to empowering Nigeria's young entrepreneurs and contributing to the nation's economic growth. Together, we can shape a future that we will all be proud of.