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The Tony Elumelu Foundation to Announce Selected Entrepreneurs for 2019 Programme on March 22, 2019

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading African philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, will announce the selected applicants for the 2019 cohort of the Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme on March 22, 2019. The event, which marks the 5th round of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme, will take place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Every year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation opens its application portal to African entrepreneurs, with businesses of less than three years old. Through its $100million Entrepreneurship Programme, the Foundation empowers 1,000 entrepreneurs annually, who receive $5,000 in non-refundable seed capital, access to mentors, a 12-week training programme and opportunities to promote their businesses to a global audience. All applicants receive access to TEFConnect, Africa’s digital entrepreneurial hub, which provides access to networks, training, further capital sources and business opportunities.

As a means of cascading its proven entrepreneurial tool kit to the huge numbers of applicants, the Foundation launched in 2018, TEFConnect, the digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs. The platform, which has currently over 400,000 users, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to network, receive training and forge business partnerships to scale their businesses beyond physical borders.

In the five years since the Foundation launched its Entrepreneurship Programme, it has empowered 4,000 African entrepreneurs directly and an additional 470 entrepreneurs supported by the Foundation’s partners. The Foundation recently appointed Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu as CEO effective from April 1. Mrs. Ugochukwu succeeds Parminder Vir, OBE, who will continue to lend her experience and expertise as a member of the Foundation’s Advisory Board.

The incoming CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, emphasised the importance of partnership in reaching additional entrepreneurs beyond the Foundation’s annual commitment of 1,000 entrepreneurs.

“Each year we see a significant uplift in applicants. Our execution partner, Accenture Development Partnerships, are currently reviewing and finalising the applications. Over 215,000 African entrepreneurs applied from across 54 African countries, up from 151,000 applications last year, with an increase in female representation from 62,000 in 2018 to 90,000 in 2019. These rising figures demonstrate the burning desire of the African entrepreneur to develop our continent, and we must urgently convert this passion into viable businesses to develop our continent.

Our Programme has developed a robust mechanism for directing capital effectively and efficiently, to those who can deploy it in local communities with the greatest impact. We are looking forward to working with partners to collaborate with us, to scale the platform and process we have created. Empowering African entrepreneurs must be a shared responsibility to create economic prosperity for all”, she said.

Speaking on the Entrepreneurship Programme, Osato Noah, West Africa Lead, Accenture Development Partnerships, said:

“We have worked with the Tony Elumelu Foundation since the inception of the Entrepreneurship Programme. In 2015, the first round of the Programme saw us review 20,000 applications for the Foundation and this year we reviewed over 215,000 applications. The sheer diversity and speed at which applications have scaled in the last four years have been incredible. We commend the Tony Elumelu Foundation for their commitment to the transparency of the programme, and Accenture is proud to partner in the delivery of this Pan-African project.”

The Selection Announcement will also feature a Nigerian TEF Alumni Meet up, as well as an interactive dialogue with TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON.

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BUSINESS

One Stop Online Shopping Platform, Jankaramall, Hits Cyberspace

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Conceived from a deep desire to re-redefine the online shopping narratives as well as create a standard, first class and relevant shopping experience for Nigerians, especially those resident in Port Harcourt and its environs, Jankaramall has hit the cyberspace, and with a reliable promise to ensure trust and all new level convenience.
Launched in October 2018, Jankaramall, with headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, is endowed with the best of qualitative approach to easy online shopping and stress free timely delivery.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Enitan Igwe, jankaramall.com is not just the everyday online shopping platform, but a one stop arena where virtually everything ranging from household essentials, electronics, health and beauty care products, foods and beverages ready-made meals, home appliances, groceries, office supplies, among others can be derived at the snap of the fingers or rather a click.
Hear her:

“Jankara is an online store with rich Nigerian heritage offering world class shopping experience. Customer satisfaction is extremely important to us, therefore we ensure that our prices are fair and competitive.

“Jankaramall was conceived from an intense desire to create a modern and relevant retail shopping experience for Port Harcourt and Nigeria as a whole and a more convenient way for people to get their everyday needs without the hassles of moving out of your comfort zone just to get desired groceries. We don’t just sell groceries, we take the stress off of you and give you time to spend on more rewarding activities.”
With an established vision “To be the biggest and most preferred one-stop online shopping destination for grocery, household essentials, home cooking, personal care and general consumer goods in Africa”, Jankaramall.com is fast taking over the cyberspace, making life easy for a great number of people who are always on the go.
Jankaramall does not only deal with continental products but is also into local brands to ensure the customers’ all round care and wellness. Even pets are not left out as there is a large assortment and variety of Pet foods and accessories available.
Mrs. Igwe continues: “To ensure you have utmost trust and reliability and more convenience, you can also pay for your order on delivery. This gives you the chance to access your products and make sure they are in good condition before you make payment. With Jankara, online shopping is easier in Port Harcourt and Nigeria.”
Jankara is derived from the popularly Lagos market called Jankara Market, located at the centre of the Lagos Island, where it is reported that everything under the heavens, is always available, no matter the time. And through to type, Jankaramall.com is never in short supply of anything money can legitimately buy. So whatever it is you wish to buy, http://www.jankaramall.com is just a click away, and offers lots more at the lowest of prices.
Note: Jankara caters for individuals and corporate needs.
Give it a try today; make that call now!
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GLOBAL TRANSACTIONS GET EASIER WITH FIRSTBANK’S CARD OFFERINGS

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By EHIME ALEX

As in many developing countries, cash has been the most prevalent mode of payment in Nigeria until 2012 when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the cashless policy with the aim of promoting the use of electronic payment channels instead of cash.

Since then, banking services in Nigeria have shifted from physical and tangible distribution to technology-enabled, such as internet, automated teller machine (ATM), mobile phones, point of sale (POS) and mobile money channels.

African economies are also in support of driving cash out of the financial system and the introduction of digital payment solutions is in line with their cashless strategies.

It is also worthy of note that one of the prerequisites for the development of national economy is to encourage a payment system that is secure, convenient, and affordable. In this regard, developed countries of the world, to a large extent, have moved away from paper payment instruments toward electronic ones, especially payment cards.

Looking at data from the CBN official website on E-Payment transactions from 2012 to 2018, it is clear that there has been an exponential increase in the volume of transactions carried out through various channels.

For instance, the volume of ATM transactions carried out in 2012 was approximately at 375.5 million compared to 875.5 million recorded in 2018. Also, the volume of transactions recorded from the POS and Internet channels rose from 2.58 million to 295.89 million, and 2.27 million to 50.8 million in the review period respectively.

This suggests that, the e-payment channels, if well implemented will help achieve the CBN‘s objective of expanding, deepening and modernizing the payment system in Nigeria, and also galvanize the apex bank in ensuring that Nigeria ranks among the top 20 economies of the world in line with the nation‘s vision 2020 aspirations.

To this course, and in line with its pioneering strategy and focus at smartly improving payments infrastructures and greater usage of non-cash means in the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited recently launched Visa Multi-Currency card, the first of its kind to be offered by any financial institution in the country.

This All-in One-Card has by all means added to the array of FirstBank’s card offerings: Naira MasterCard and Visa Gold card.

The FirstBank Naira MasterCard, a chip and PIN Debit Card, offers a convenient alternative to the use of cash, and cheques. It is a naira denominated card linked to customer’s current or savings account, and can be used to make purchases online, pay bills and access cash at ATMs point worldwide.

With it, cardholders go cashless, have zero need for Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) or Business Travel Allowance (BTA), and also have increased limits for international transactions up to $5000 monthly on all channels with a daily ATM cash withdrawal limit of $300.

While the FirstBank Visa Gold card, an international premium credit card, is a U.S. Dollar- denominated card, secured also by chip and PIN technology. Its higher daily spending limits on ATM, POS and Web are $1,000, $10,000 and $5,000 respectively, anywhere in the World.

However, in addressing challenges many Nigerians faced while travelling abroad, FirstBank has introduced the Visa Multi-Currency card with some unique features. Before now, the major pain points for travelers have been how to source different currencies with high and non-transparent exchange rates.

In today’s businesses where expectation is significantly increasing, consumers have to embrace innovative new technology made available, such as the FirstBank Visa Multi-Currency of card, for global transactions.

The newly launched FirstBank Visa Multi-Currency card is an enhancement to the existing Visa Debit Dual Currency card. Having other unique features, the card can be linked to either or all customer’s NAIRA, USD, EURO and GBP accounts. It is designed to enhance customer experience when transacting globally outside Nigeria, and to address challenges many Nigerians faced while travelling abroad thereby positioning the bank at meeting the needs of its increasingly global customer base.

Besides other benefits are POS and Online purchases, access to and use of ATMs worldwide, and no cash collateral requirement prior to its issuance.

It is an international card secured by Chip and PIN technology with a lifespan of 3 years, and it has additional protection for web-based transactions with “Verified by Visa” (VbV). In fact, it is a one card that enables access to funds throughout the world, providing maximum protection for all card users.

It has a daily withdrawal limit of N150,000 and $1,000 for local and International transactions on the ATM channel, and N1,000,000 and $6,250 for local and international on Web. While on POS, Current account cardholders have a withdrawal limit of N2,500,000 and Savings account cardholders N500,000 distinctively for local, but $2,500 parallel for International transactions.

In the words of Mr. Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Product, “FirstBank takes pride in pioneering the Visa Multi Currency Card in the country, as we remain committed to providing products and services that are designed to ensure the banking convenience of our customers regardless of their location.”

“This card is designed to make traveling fun for our customers and ensure they have a seamless transaction experience during their vacation, tourism and other business-related trips around the globe,” he added.

True and true, FirstBank has shown itself to be a digital innovating bank since the craze of technological transformation in the financial sector, with various Awards, achievements and recognitions.

This Nigeria’s Bank of first choice was named the first financial institution in the country to achieve sustained alternative channels transaction volumes of 100 million transactions in December 2015 and May 2016.

In 2015, FirstBank won two awards in the eBusiness category: MasterCard Cardless Champion award for International acceptance across all POS channels; and MasterCard Cardless Champion award for Mobile POS (MPOS) merchant acquisition.

In 2016, it won three awards also in the eBusiness category, viz: Asian Banker award for Best Mobile Payment Product for West Africa; Asian Banker award for Credit Card of the Year for West Africa; and Global Finance Award for ‘Digital Bank of Distinction – Emerging Markets, Africa Category’.

For two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017, the bank was honoured with the Digital Bank of Distinction, Nigeria award in the Global Finance Best Digital Banks Awards.

While still counting, in 2017, FirstBank won the Cashless Champion Award of MasterCard International on POS International transactions acquiring, and same year won Interswitch awards on Fastest Mobile Penetration in Africa; Highest Card Transacting Bank in Nigeria; and Highest Verve Issuing Bank.

For FirstBank to sustain its relevance and be part of the banks of the future, it must continue to be proactive to customers’ goals, their ‘next big thing’, and invest heavily, rediscover and reassert its core role in society, while securing ongoing support of policymakers.

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BUSINESS

FIRSTBANK SPOTLIGHTING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AGRICULTURE VALUE CHAIN

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BY OBINNA EMELIKE (BUSINESSDAY)

In 2017, the Nigerian agriculture sector witnessed a revolutionary discourse on the economic benefits of sustainable agriculture value-chain as an alternative source of economic development and foreign exchange with the launch of FirstBank Agric Expo.

It was a first-of-its-kind initiative that afforded the bank the opportunity to aggregate top players in the agricultural sector under one roof for easy relationship establishment, as well as, enlighten customers and prospects alike about FirstBank’s readiness to support their Agricultural businesses.

The event, which was oversubscribed by 100 percent in its maiden edition because of its relevance, also positioned the bank as a thought leader in the agricultural financing space in the country. For leading that discourse and opening the agricultural financing space, the bank’s agric portfolio recorded a growth of N11.65billion as a direct impact.

Riding on the success of the maiden edition, the bank has gone ahead to further engage key policy influencers, agriculture service providers, primary producers, exporters and top players in the agric value chain, among others in the 2018 edition, as well as promising a better engagement in this year’s edition of the expo.

Considering the falling oil prices and the urgent need to diversify the economy, the FirstBank Agric Expo is imperative. Expressing his delight on FirstBank’s leading role at not just promoting Agriculture but diversifying the Nigerian economy, Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, sees opportunities beyond economic diversification in the non-oil sector, which agriculture leads. “As Nigeria expands opportunities in its non-oil sector, especially Agriculture, we remain committed to the growth of the agricultural sector and its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product”, the CEO said.

Also, the bank is venturing into the agric financing space in order to promote entrepreneurship and employment opportunities bearing in mind that agriculture has potential to take millions of unemployed off the streets when the right investment are made and thoroughly coordinated.

So, the bank is using the FirstBank Agric Expo, which is now in its third edition to “build the agribusiness economy, which is capable of delivering sustained prosperity by meeting domestic food security goals, generating exports, supporting sustainable income and creating employment opportunities”, Adeduntan assured.

Ironically, Nigeria, according to Audu Ogbeh, former Minister of Agriculture, spends about $22 billion annually to import food into the country.

But with sustained gains from the Agric Expo, more funds would be available to agric entrepreneurs to improve production, and reduce the high importation of food that has negatively impacted Nigeria’s Balance of Trade.

With more funding, the bank assured that Nigeria can be self-sufficient in producing things it has comparative advantage on, especially rice, the staple food, which can be grown across the country.

As well, improved funding in the agric sector will result in more entrepreneurs, more investments, more hands in the farms, more food produced, huge foreign exchange earnings from exportation, as well as, less crime in the country. Though the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report stated that the value of agricultural exports rose by 115.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, the country can double the value if agric entrepreneurs are financed and guided, which makes the First Bank Agric Expo very imperative.

As a continuous financier of credit worthy agro-allied businesses, the bank is rolling out the drums once again to hold the third edition of the agric expo. Like the previous editions, the expo will hold on August 30, 2019 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos with the theme, “Agricultural Value Chain – Spotlighting Opportunities and Managing Risks” and would have Professor Benedict Oramah, president, AFREXIM Bank, as the keynote speaker.

It will host over 600 delegates and over 60 exhibitors who will display the latest technology in farm equipment, tools and machineries, as well as, packaged finished agricultural produce, logistics and supply, thereby keeping the participants and sundry agribusiness practitioners abreast with new opportunities in the Agricultural industry.

Besides the plenary session, the expo will feature three masterclasses with in-depth analysis on specific areas of Agribusiness, facilitated by enterprising Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The masterclass facilitators include; Leonard Anyanwu, Group Executive Director, Saro International Limited; Segun Ogunwale, Team Lead, Kominity Digital and Bamidele Ayemibo, Managing Director, 3T Impex Trade Centre, who will provide insight, as well as, share success stories and experiences.

For the agric entrepreneur looking to grow your business, there are many reasons to be at the expo as FirstBank has a large base of agribusiness clients across Nigeria who you will likely meet.

 

 

 

 

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