On January 18, 2019, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; with Microsoft 4Afrika; hosted a free event for Nigerian SMEs to promote technology adoption and skills development.
The event was the official launch of the new partnership between Microsoft 4Afrika and FirstBank, following a memorandum of understanding signed earlier in June 2018. The partnership seeks to build the capacity of local SMEs and accelerate their digital transformation. Also, it will provide them with exclusive and tailored non-financial solutions. Participants were exposed to skills development resources, access to business networks and an educational platform.
According to Taiwo Shonekan, Head Customer Experience and Value Management, First Bank of Nigeria Limited: “This partnership with Microsoft enables us to deliver a portfolio of non-financial solutions to our SME customers. We have over the last 125 years supported SMEs in building their business, whilst contributing to the national economy. This partnership is a landmark step in our quest to leverage the influence of technology in businesses. This is especially so in today’s digital age.”
“With this partnership; FirstBank customers can buy Microsoft products at discounted rates in the local currency – the Naira. Seamlessly, this aids technology adoption, skills and capacity development among SMEs in Nigeria,” she said.
Amrote Abdella, Regional Director of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative and the keynote speaker for the event; said: “For SMEs, integrating technology into their operations is no longer an option. Rather, it is a necessity for future growth and success. We’re looking forward to engaging in discussions that explore how technology can extend reach to new markets and improve productivity. This will result in better customer service; more competitive offerings; and the ability to act with agility.”
Across the continent, Microsoft 4Afrika is forging partnerships with several. players in the SME ecosystem – from banks to telcos – to enhance SME offerings and reach a broader audience.
“Technology and the relevant digital skills today play such an integral role in business success. We’re working with organisations to extend this support to as many SMEs as possible, ensuring not only their success, but the growth and competiveness of our continent in an increasingly digital world.”
The 4Afrika Initiative is Microsoft’s business and market development engine in Africa. Launched in 2013, it aims to unlock and accelerate Africa’s potential to create technology not only for the continent, but for the world.
Source: Naija 247
For more, visit www.smefinance.org