Connect Nigeria held its 3rd annual business fair themed ‘e-Business and the Growth of Your Enterprise’ on February 21st 2015 and it saw a turn- out of over 5,000 people, greatly surpassing 2013 which saw over 2,000. This year’s edition was sponsored by Union bank, Etisalat, Microsoft, FirstMonie, Skye Bank, Teraggon and Heritage Bank.
On the day, people came from all over Nigeria eager to learn about e-business and how to grow their enterprises or start up their own business. The keynote speech was delivered by the MD of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa represented by Mr. Obaro Osah, Head, Lagos Region – SME
Group, Bank of Industry. As a seasoned and professional banker with over twenty years’ experience in the banking and financial services industry, spanning International Operations, Trade Services, Treasury Operations, Correspondent Banking, Customer Service, Relationship Management and Business Development, he gave vital advice to those embarking on business ventures.
He said that the Bank of Industry has been playing a critical role by providing grounds for small businesses financing. He also stressed that the Bank has made the process of accessing funds very easy by reducing the processes to three easy activities to apply for funding now, giving every Nigerian access to funding for business.
Following the keynote speech, the first panel took place in which Mr. Fatai Baruwa Head, E-Business, Union Bank, Mike Ogbalu Head Mobile Financial Services, FirstMonie, Bidemi Ladipo,
Head Enterprise Marketing Etisalat, and Ayodele Olojede, Head Small Business Group from Skye Bank spoke on Mobile Money/ E-Commerce.
The second panel then followed with people eager to hear about doing business in the digital age. In this panel, Anu Sanya, Head of Business and Strategic Patnerships, Terragon Group, Ebi Atawodi General Manager Uber, Marek Zmyslowski, Managing Director Jovago, Raphael Afaedor, CEO Supermart.ng, and Ugochi Ugbomeh Co-Founder and Business Manager Tranzit.ng spoke on this subject and answered questions from the audience.
The exhibition hall was buzzing all day with thousands of people networking, engaging with vendors, buying products, taking pictures in the photogenic picture booth and sharing business information.
The day concluded with several raffle prize winners getting an iPad, tablet, smartphone, and several other prizes that added to and heightened their experiences at the business fair. Union Bank also gave two lucky winners who opened a business account prizes of N100,000 and N50,000.
General feedback from sponsors and attendees was that the business fair provided them with invaluable information and contacts that would push their respective businesses and careers forward in the near future.