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Sterling Bank, SMEDAN To Create Nigeria’s Largest SME Database

Sterling Bank, one of Africa’s fastest-growing companies, has recently signed an agreement with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to establish a comprehensive database of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

Sterling Bank, one of Africa’s fastest-growing companies, has recently entered into an agreement with the Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to establish a comprehensive database of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. This strategic move aims to facilitate the scaling of intervention programs and the provision of customized solutions that genuinely contribute to the growth of SMEs.

The official signing ceremony for this collaboration took place in Lagos, where Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, expressed his optimism about the partnership. He emphasized the positive outcomes that can emerge from genuine collaborations driven by opportunity rather than external regulatory pressures, and he regarded this alliance as one of those promising ventures.

Suleiman underscored the significance of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) while recognizing the pivotal role of data in economic development. He asserted that this agreement signifies the commencement of a journey toward a formalized economy, enabling effective government intervention when necessary. Suleiman also stressed the importance of SMEs having access to capital based on their historical data, highlighting the need to create an environment that motivates SMEs to voluntarily report their information, even if it’s solely to qualify for SMEDAN services. Additionally, he emphasized that self-reporting is the initial step for small and medium businesses to become auditable entities.

Sterling Bank is fully committed to dedicating its resources to the success of the MoU and will advocate for government support for SMEs. Suleiman noted that the outcomes of this collaboration will not only benefit Sterling Bank but the entire banking industry.

Mr. Olawale Fasanya, the Director General of SMEDAN, expressed his appreciation for the bank’s initiative and highlighted the substantial value the MoU adds to SMEDAN’s operations. Fasanya emphasized the critical role of data in their activities, citing their recent online registration of approximately 3.8 million SMEs. Despite this significant registration effort, the data still requires cleaning. Fasanya emphasized that having accurate data would enable SMEDAN to connect SMEs operating within the same market.

Mustapha Otaru, Chief Product Officer at Sterling Bank, described the bank’s approach to managing SMEs as an ecosystem and stressed the importance of federal government collaboration with SMEDAN. He recognized that progress is unattainable without such partnerships.

Otaru explained that, in addition to providing access to finance, Sterling Bank aims to nurture SMEs and support their growth from micro to corporate levels. The bank achieves this through innovative solutions like its common facility for fashion entrepreneurs and special bundled offerings. Otaru further noted that Sterling Bank’s products are strategically designed to align with its HEART (Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation) strategy, which the bank adopted in 2018 to focus its investments on key sectors of the economy.

Bolanle Tyson, the Head of SME Products at Sterling Bank, highlighted the integral role of SMEs in economic growth. She expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership with SMEDAN, envisioning a long-lasting collaboration that leverages combined resources to drive economic growth.

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