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Monday, 28 September 2015

Sterling Bank Unveils MSME Academy

In line with its aim of strengthening capacity among operators of small businesses in the country, Sterling Bank Plc has introduced the Sterling micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME).

The bank also said the institute would help tackle the challenge of funding for MSMEs in Nigeria.

The academy, which will commence with a pilot session in Lagos on September 30, is a result of a partnership with BusinessDay.

The bank said the initiative was also part of value-added offering for its SUPA Business Account.

Executive Director, Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman
Speaking at an event in Lagos to unveil the academy, Executive Director, Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman said: “The overall problem we are trying to deal with here is that everybody is talking about SMEs and people still think that if you throw money at SMEs, everything will be fine.

“But we know that is not true. The problem of SMEs is not money. We believe that if you fix all the other problems, people will actually come at you with money. This is because, people have money and they are actually looking to get returns on their money.

“The problem is we cannot give them opportunities that they can see transparently and say this will give me a return or I can trust the processes that are leading to these results. In some instances, people will show you business profits and say they are making 20 per cent profit but they cannot show the process that led to this profitability so that it can be comfortably repeated.


“In most instances, people don’t even have any records. All you see if you are lucky are products and services but from a business perspective they are not able to show you the business. So the problem is big and the pressure is on the banks to somehow fix a problem that is not a financial problem with money. And so we feel that we have to get to the bottom of the problem (through capacity building) or else we just throw money that will be lost.”

Also speaking, the Bank’s Group Head, Strategy & Communications, Shina Atilola said the Sterling MSME Academy is aimed at capacity building for existing and emerging MSMEs to enable them build viable businesses and position them to access funds for expansion. He also said MSMEs would enjoy access to relevant and reliable business intelligence and information that would help them to navigate the challenging operating environment.”

He added: “This is in furtherance of its commitment to enriching lives by focusing on the unique needs of its entrepreneurial customers; and giving teeth to private sector involvement in the development of small businesses and the Nigerian economy at large.”

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