STERLING Bank Plc and LEAP Africa, will join key industry leaders and risk management experts to lead discussions on risk management strategies for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs in Lagos this week.
Chief Financial Officer, Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, made this known at a news conference in Lagos.
He said over 800 SMEs were expected to attend the 10th edition of the LEAP Africa’s CEO Forum for SMEs.
The forum, tagged ‘Staying ahead: Maximising profit and mitigating risks’, the Sterling Bank ED explained, would help operators to understand inherent risks that could lead to the sudden collapse of their businesses.
He said the bank believes SMEs makes significant contribution to economic growth and this informed its decision to partner with LEAP Africa on the conference.
Suleiman said: “The conference has to do with how we can help SMEs to deal with risk factors that impact their businesses negatively. Many of us know how the recent devaluation of the naira affected several SMEs. Aside this, factors like information management can also affect SMEs. These are little things that can cause big issues for SMEs.
“At Sterling Bank, we always ask ourselves what benefits any programme we decide to partner on will bring to participants. Once we know it will benefit the environment and the economy, we go ahead. This is why we have decided to partner LEAP Africa on this conference.”
The Executive Director, LEAP Africa, Iyadunni Olubode, said the forum was meant to assist SMEs to overcome crucial risk factors in the challenging economic environment.
She said the organisation was partnering with Sterling Bank to bring experts to talk on risk management practices for SMEs.
The forum, she added, would provide cutting-edge solutions and best practices that would enable SMEs to deal with risks in the nation’s political and economic environment.
Olubode said, “SMEs should be proactive in managing risk instead of being reactive. There is a common misconception that only large companies need to manage risks, but this year’s forum seeks to address that and offer practical advice for entrepreneurs on protecting their profits through risk mitigation strategies.”
The Managing Director, JNC International Limited, Clare Omatseye, who is expected to speak at the forum, emphasised the need for SMEs to adopt global best practice in risk management.
She said the forum will identify major risk factors that affect SMEs in the Nigerian business environment.
The Founder, LEAP Africa, Ndidi Nwuneli, said SMEs must define their purpose in order to achieve success on a long-term basis.

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