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The Struggling Entrepreneur: How I Got International Customers To Buy My Products With Ease — Okon Achibong

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Innovation is the new competitive edge for every business. 6 months ago, my business was at a critical phase; we were expanding. Our products had caught the eye of the international market and buyers across the world were indicating interest. Whilst this new wave of interest was long overdue, I was scared that the negative perception of Nigeria in some quarters in the international market would affect my business. My fear was not without reason, we had lost a lot of sales in the past due to this issue.

So, this time I was taking steps to ensure that the interests crystalized into sales. I engaged a PR firm in hopes that their branding efforts would help allay the fears of international buyers and drive them to patronize my business. A few months later, the branding efforts started bearing fruits.

3 months after we engaged the PR firm, we received international orders from 15 customers with 3 making full payments for their orders. This was a new dawn as I could sense better days ahead. But then an issue arose…. the remaining 12 customers were making little orders and had insisted on making payments with their credit cards due to the cost of traditional payment methods. This was a big issue because our website through which orders came in did not have a payment functionality. We had tried getting a solution a year ago but the cost of acquiring such a solution was on the high side and we had to jettison the idea. This request kept me up late at night as I wondered if this was going to be another case of poor sales. Where do I even get such a solution from within 48 hours?

The next morning, I gathered my accounts team and charged them with the responsibility of looking for a solution before the close of business. As fate would have it, one of my staff in his search stumbled on an advert online about a solution called Global Pay. Immediately, he reached out to me and we called the bank. A gentleman picked up and after exchanging pleasantries we told him of our plight and the solution we had seen.

In few words, he explained that with GlobalPaywe could receive payments from anywhere in the world with debit or credit cards.  A bit sceptical, we applied for it and the solution was set up on our website in less than 24 hours. We reached out to the remaining 12 customers advising them to visit our website to make payment. 20 minutes later, we received feedback on how seamless the payment process was much to my surprise. My accounts team reconfirmed the payments from the payment notifications and the online monitoring log and all payments were received. We dispatched their orders afterwards.

GlobalPay is not just a payment solution, it is a business saver that has eliminated major payment hassles for my business.

BUSINESS

How To Prevent Unauthorised Transactions On Your Zenith Card Or Token If Stolen [MUST READ]

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Has your mobile phone, Zenith Bank Card or Token been stolen or misplaced?

You can prevent any unauthorized transactions on your account by simply dialing 966911#.

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BUSINESS

Heirs Holdings Signs $600 million Loans With Afrexim Bank, To Scale Its Energy Investments

Gbemileke Ajayi

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As a further demonstration of the African Export-Import Bank’s (“Afrexim”) mandate to facilitate the growth of intra-Africa trade and support the development of African businesses, Afrexim today, signed financing facilities totalling US$600 million with the Heirs Holdings Group, a pan-African proprietary investment holding company.

Heirs Holdings has significant investments across Africa, in the financial services, resources, real estate and hospitality and power sectors. The facilities will further support the Group’s power, oil and gas strategy, as it positions itself as an African leader in integrated natural resources. The signing ceremony took place at the Afrexim Intra-Africa Trade Conference taking place in Cairo, Egypt.

The proceeds of the facilities will assist the Heirs Holdings Group vision of creating a dynamic resource based division, focused on ensuring value creation occurs on the African continent and that value chains are developed, that directly benefit the broader African economy and consumer.

Commenting at the ceremony, Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afrexim who signed on behalf of the Bank, stated that the investment by Heirs Holdings would play a key role in addressing some of the fundamental challenges that have affected the power and energy sectors in Africa. He stated that “A world class energy sector is fundamental to the sustainable growth of businesses in Africa. If we do not deal with these basic matters, growth of trade and exports will always be limited”.

Mr. Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, commented that “We are delighted to be partnering with Afrexim. The Bank continues to play a critical role in the economic and social development of the continent. Together, we illustrate that Africa can create world class institutions, which are capable of successfully making the long-term investments necessary for Africa’s economic transformation and catalyse the enabling environment that will unleash Africa’s potential”.

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UBA Academy Gets CIBN Accreditation for Excellence in Training, Capacity Building

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In recognition of its high standard, quality of human resources development, training and capacity building, The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria(CIBN) has certified and awarded UBA Academy the certificate of accreditation in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Competency Framework for the banking industry .

UBA Academy, the dedicated learning and development centre of the Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, was accorded the new recognition of excellence at a ceremony presided over by the President/Chairman of Council of the institute, Dr. Uche Olowu in Lagos on Thursday.

According to the president of the institute, UBA Academy was conferred with the new status having met the rigorous standards set for the delivery of their suites of programmes by the Institute.

The certification follows rigorous assessment exercise carried out by the institute’s Capacity Building Committee, the accreditation agency under the competency framework for the country’s banking and finance industry instituted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“This Accreditation is an affirmation that UBA Academy has adopted and complied with the minimum assessment standards for programmes run by the organisation, which have gained a label of recognition and distinction,” Olowu said.

According to him the accreditation of UBA Academy would enable its graduates to be eligible for exemptions from various subjects in the banking professional examinations thereby facilitating their completion of the Chartered Banker examination. “This will not only enable them comply with the provisions of the Competency Framework for the banking industry, it will go a long way in the strengthening of the intellectual resources and capabilities available in their institutions,” he concluded.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Bank’s Group Head Human Resources, Mrs Patricia Aderibigbe, while appreciating the recognition conferred on the UBA Academy, said the academy has already embarked on training for the future with digitisation of its training programmes and modules.

“With Ignite, UBA has taken training into the future as we believe that the only way to get the best results and continually stay ahead of the curve is to continually sharpen our most important asset – our people, using mobile technology,” Aderibigbe said.

Aderibigbe promised that UBA Academy will continuously seek improvement in ensuring that it serves the needs of industry in a changing banking industry.

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