Knowledge is a critical tool for business success and on a periodic basis, we organize trainings, technical sessions, conferences along target sectors including Agribusiness, Renewable Energy, Digital Technology and Creative Industry. This is to empower our customers with the right tools to face and overcome different challenges faced in running businesses in Nigeria. Some of these include the BEST, SEFi Workshop, BlockChain Technology Forum and few others.

On Thursday, March 28th 2019, FCMB hosted a seminar on tax matters. The seminar, tagged, “Tax Enforcement and Implications on Businesses in Nigeria’’, was aimed at equipping entrepreneurs with requisite knowledge on taxation by promoting the exchange of ideas between tax regulators and businesses on existing and emerging tax matters to ensure compliance and avoid sanctions.

The event had in attendance SMEs operating in various sectors, including, trading, manufacturing, agribusiness, renewable energy, creative industry, digital technology, healthcare, schools and individuals running businesses in their names.

Present at the seminar were the Executive Director, Business Development, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Mrs. Bukola Smith; Chief Marketing Officer, FCMB Pensions Limited, Mr. Osarhieme Osaghae; Director of Enforcement, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Emeka Obiagwu; Group Head, SMEs/Business Banking Group, FCMB, Mr. George Ogbonnaya; Tax Controller, Medium Tax Office (Lagos Island FIRS 2), Mr. Olalekan Oluwemimo amongst others.

This workshop is one of the ways through which FCMB aims to bridge knowledge and capacity gaps that limit the growth of SMEs in Nigeria.

Some of the pictures from the seminar are shown below:

Energy is critical to the survival and growth of businesses and harnessing readily available clean sources of energy is a requirement for a sustainable world; be it for Agribusiness, Water management, Waste management, Efficient transportation, Renewable Energy or Energy efficiency. It is therefore imperative for individuals and businesses to utilize energy resources in a sustainable manner.

Various business and financing opportunities exist within the Nigerian economy for promoters/ players in the sustainable energy sector and therefore FCMB in partnership with IFC (a member of the World Bank Group) held the first of a Workshop Series named- SEFi 2018.

Objectives of Workshop:

  • Deepen participants’ knowledge of various market opportunities within the sustainable energy space in Nigeria
  • Understand the challenges project developers, product manufacturers, distributors and other operators within the sustainable energy space encounter, while sharing some success stories
  • Present financing structures available to sustainable energy players within the bank
  • Unlock networking opportunities for participants

Pictures from the event are shown below.

In a bid to put Africa at the forefront of Sustainable Energy, FCMB partnered with OneWatt Solar (a sustainable energy solutions provider) to organise a forum with the theme, “Blockchain Technology in Energy Access Finance For Africa”.

The event which took place at FCMB Adeola Hopewell, Victoria Island, Lagos, featured speakers such as Weibe Boer – CEO, All On; Dr Jubril Adeojo – Director, Climata Finance Advisor and Jodi Kaye – Private Enterprise Officer, USAID. Others were Victor Alagbe – Vice President, OWS & BlockChain Expert; and Mr Alexander Obiechina - President, African Mini-Grid Developers Association (AMDA).

The forum, informative and mind-blowing with innovative ideas, shed light on some grey areas in the Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and energy industries in an interactive session where participants and speakers shared ideas, thoughts and opinions on how blockchain can be used to enhance sustainable energy in Africa (Nigeria as case focus).

Pictures from the event are shown below.

On Thursday, March 28th, FCMB held its first SME Master Class of 2019. The event had over 100 businesses from various sectors in attendance. The event featured partners and subject matter experts who delivered expert knowledge in multiple areas SMEs have capacity gaps. They included Dmastermind, Ralds and Agate, GreyChapel Legal, Debnoch Capital, Sage, Paystack, and AXA Mansard.

The series is the first of quarterly sessions which will hold across different regions of the country. The SME Master Class is designed for business owners who may not have resources for executive MBA programmes or have limited time to attend.

This is one of the ways through which FCMB aims to bridge knowledge and capacity gaps that limit the growth of SMEs in Nigeria.

Some of the pictures from the training are shown below:

Pictures from the event are shown below.

On Saturday, April 13, 2019, we kicked off the 2019 edition of the Business Empowerment and Sustainability Training (BEST). This is further demonstration of FCMB’s commitment to sustain the level of support it gives SMEs through increased lending, capacity building, advisory and value-added offerings.

This edition focused on business and skills development, marketing, finance and accounting for SMEs. It covered various relevant areas such as identifying business opportunities, surviving in a harsh business environment, improving productivity, raising capital, optimizing sales, cost and revenue management, among others.

The format of the event was slightly modified from previous editions to include 3 Panel Discussions to facilitate sharing of real business experiences on the major topics presented. We also had an "SME Products and Services Exhibition" outside the venue for a few customers to showcase and promote their business offerings.

Pictures from the event are shown below.

As part of the drive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee to unlock cheaper source of capital for small and growing businesses, Agribusiness Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) was conceived. This provides SMEs with viable businesses, projects and ideas the opportunity to access funds of up to N10million at 5% per annum.

One of the key requirements for AGSMEIS is that interested SMEs undergo appropriate entrepreneurship development training.

Pictures from the event are shown below.

FCMB in partnership with Passion Incubator held the maiden edition of its Tech Pitch Perfect on April 27 2019. Ten (10) finalists in two start-up categories (e-Payment/Collection and e-Savings) went head to head for the grand prize of Two Million Naira and a free one-year subscription at Hub One.

Panel of judges at the event included Co-founder/COO, PiggyVest App, Odunayo Eweniyi; Co-Founder, Amplify Pay, Segun Adeyemi; Co-Head Financial Services , Jackson Etti and Edu, Abayomi Adebanjo; and Group Head, Business Banking Group, FCMB, George Ogbonnaya.

After several rounds of pitches, Smart Teller won in the e-Payment category, while eFarms won in the e-Savings category. Both went home with One Million Naira each and will also enjoy a free one-year subscription at Hub One.

Pictures from the event are shown below.