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Union Bank, Connect Nigeria To Honour 100 Top Emerging SMEs



Union Bank, in collaboration with Connect Nigeria, has announced the launch of the Top 100 Emerging SMEs campaign at the just concluded e-Business fair for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) held recently in Lagos.

The e-Business fair, organised by Connect Nigeria and sponsored by Union Bank, is reputed as one of the largest gatherings of SMEs on the African continent, drawing business owners, startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs from across the continent.

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The Top 100 Emerging SMEs list is an initiative aimed at identifying, honouring and supporting Nigeria’s leading upcoming SMEs who have shown resilience by thriving despite the challenging business environment while maintaining ethical business practices.

Speaking about the launch of the initiative, Paul Aseme, Union Bank’s Head of Retail Segments said: “As a bank that recently crossed the century mark, we are committed to supporting the growth of Nigerian businesses so they can also be profitable and sustainable in the long term. We will continue supporting the SME sector which we recognize is a vital part of the Nigerian economy. Through this project, we intend to acknowledge and celebrate upcoming SMEs whose hard work and persistence deserve to be recognized.”

The selection process to pick the top 100 emerging SMEs will involve a combination of voters’ polls and judges’ assessments. Criteria to be considered in selecting the top SMEs will include innovation, scalability, business feasibility, market opportunity, reach and revenue.

Also speaking at the launch, Emeka Okafor, CEO Connect Nigeria said: “The top 100 SMEs, is a project aimed at amplifying the best from the SME segment in Nigeria. Through diligent research, we hope to present the most authentic list of top 100 emerging businesses from different industries. We are pleased that Union Bank is partnering with us on this which is a clear indication of their commitment to the sector and to Nigeria as a whole.”

Interested SMEs are invited to submit their entry via their website, www.connectnigeria.com. Individuals are also invited to vote for the SMEs of their choice on the same site.

The Top 100 SME List is another example of Union Bank’s continued support for upcoming Nigerian businesses. Last year, 2017, the Bank, in partnership with Co-creation Hub (CcHub) launched a first-of-its-kind business acceleration program ‘Startup Connect’ which is an opportunity for Nigerian companies, creating technology-based solutions for the next generation African market, to partner with CCHub and Union Bank for rapid growth. Union Bank’s commitment to SMEs has earned it the “Best Bank to Support Nigeria’s Small and Medium Scale Enterprises” award at the 2016 Business Day Annual Banking Awards.

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