STERLING Bank has restated its commitment to boosting entrepreneurship in the country.
The Bank’s Executive Director, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, stated this at a press briefing in Lagos to flag off Season 11 of its “Meet the Executive (MTE)” initiative, a business plan competition with opportunities for winners to access grants to finance their business.
Suleiman emphasised that the lender’s motive for sponsoring the initiative was not to make profit but to ensure that Nigeria has entrepreneurs who are well equipped to run businesses that are profitable and sustainable.
He disclosed that from the various training programmes the bank has organised for aspiring entrepreneurs, it discovered that capital was not the main challenge of aspiring entrepreneurs, adding that many of such entrepreneurs have no knowledge of the law, accounting, book keeping and other skills needed to successfully run a business.
“We realised that there are lot of young people out there who have a lot of credible ideas but they need people to guide them so that they can run their businesses successfully,” he stated.
In a statement, the bank said that the MTE is a social medialed initiative geared towards encouraging and supporting small businesses and budding entrepreneurs.
The initiative is currently in the “Call for Entries” stage where interested participants submit their business ideas and plans on the bank’s website, following which a review conducted by an independent consultant-HT Limited. Other stages include the training and the final stage wherein the entrepreneurs present their revised business plans to a panel comprising top executives of the bank, judges and venture capitalists.
Speaking on the initiative, the Group Head, Strategy & Communications, Shina Atilola, said, “Today’s economic realities have necessitated the birth of a crop of businesses led by visionary individuals called entrepreneurs.
Although these individuals have been described severally as the drivers of the economy, they encounter a number of challenges, chiefly the need for funding and financial advisory. These are the gaps we are trying to fill with the ‘Meet the Executive’ initiative”, he explained.


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