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Polaris Bank, Eventful Lift 3 Firms With Business Expansion Grants At The Fashion Souk

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Polaris Bank and Eventful Limited have reinforced their support for Nigeria’s Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector with three firms empowered at the just-concluded 5th Lagos Fashion Souk to further grow their businesses.

While handing the cheques to the winners,  who were successful in a business pitch, Polaris Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Innocent C. Ike, disclosed that the most important factor required by existing and budding entrepreneurs is to get investors interested in their businesses is the entrepreneurial spirit.

Aside from the business pitch winners, special prizes were also given to the Most Original Store and Best Decorated Store at the Fashion Souk. The winners were given equipment grants by Polaris Bank to further expand their businesses.

The overall winner of the pitch, Mrs. Oluwatosin Ogunbanjo, who runs a leather bag and shoe company, Avenue 7, got N750,000 and first runner-up, Victoria Udoh, a painting on Fabric Company, Vudoh was given N500,000 while the second runner-up, Tunde Issa, a Tailor and Founder of the male clothing line company, RoyalKlassicKoutoure, went home with N250,000.

The hugely attended one-day Fashion Souk/business fair which was held at the prestigious Harbour Point facility in Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, provided a platform for more than 150 SMEs in Nigeria’s fashion industry to showcase their creativity, product lines, and economic potentials. Some of the SMEs categories at the fair included: manufacturers, retailers, leather, and jewelry/accessories.

The objective of sponsoring the Fashion Souk according to Polaris Bank was a reinforcement of its support to SMEs as the catalyst for propelling the growth of the Nigerian economy. 

Shedding more light on how fundamental entrepreneurial spirit is for business success, the Polaris Bank CEO said he has a habit of telling entrepreneurs that what makes the difference, “Is the creative idea that an entrepreneur has and the ability to sit down and put it together diligently in a well-articulated manner.”

He added that “Creative ideas are the only way to attract funding from banks and individuals who will like to invest in the idea because they will see clearly that it is viable. He said the only way an entrepreneur can achieve that is by sitting down and putting his thoughts together and by making sure he crosses all the T’s and dots all the I’s.”

According to the Polaris Bank CEO, “When such a business proposal is presented to any investor Bank, it will be very convincing and such an entrepreneur will not get a ‘no’ for an answer.”

Earlier in her address too, Chairman of Eventful/Convener of the Event, Mrs. Yewande Zaccheus, appreciated Polaris Bank for consistently supporting SMEs in the country over the years, remarking that the Bank is not only talking but actually putting its money where its mouth is and urged the Bank to sustain the Partnership for a sustainable Fashion Souk.

The highlight of the Fashion Souk was the product launch that SMEs could leverage the Bank’s loan products like Polaris Business Loan, Invoice Discounting facility, and LPO financing among others were pitched with the participating SMEs.

The Bank has developed SME-friendly products to cater to the needs of SMEs based on sector/industry-specific, ranging from SMEs in the Health sector, Education, Manufacturing, General business, Agriculture, Export, Creative Industry, etc.” 

Polaris Bank also provides business advisory at no cost while SMEs are encouraged to send in their business proposal for review via- [email protected]polarisbanklimited.com

Aside from Polaris Bank, the fashion fair also featured product launches by other top participating Fashion companies like Arami, Tara, Mobos, and Zaron; as well as runways by Clatural, Aaboux/Cornocupia, Woora, and Dyelab, among others.

Nigeria’s fashion sub-sector has huge and untapped potentials capable of reducing the rate of unemployment in the country. According to statistics by the Fashion Association Designers of Nigeria (FADAN), Nigeria’s fashion industry is valued at $10 billion. Africa Development Bank (AfDB) also projects the global fashion industry’s worth to be over $2.5 trillion with Africa’s share estimated at less than 1% of that value in 2020, putting Africa’s entire textile/clothing market at more than $31 billion.

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BUSINESS

Dangote, Rabiu, Adenuga Top Forbes’ Africa Richest People List

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For the 11th year in a row, Aliko Dangote, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, has been crowned the wealthiest man in Africa by Forbes.

Dangote is worth an estimated $13.9 billion, according to Forbes’ latest survey on Africa’s wealthiest people, up from $12.1 billion last year after a 30% gain in the stock price of his most valuable company, Dangote Cement.

Forbes analysts attributed Dangote’s retention of the top spot to the “surge in housing developments in Nigeria and growth in government infrastructure spending drove higher demand in the first nine months of 2021.”

Also, Nigerian business tycoon and founder of the BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, came in fifth with around $7 billion in net worth.

The Forbes report stated that Rabiu became $1.5 billion richer after listing his sugar and food firm BUA Foods on the Nigerian Exchange Limited in early January 2022.

“He and his son retained a 96% stake in the company, which recently had a market capitalization of nearly $2.8 billion. BUA Cement, in which he and his son have a 96% stake, listed in January 2020,” Forbes stated.

Meanwhile, Founder and CEO of Globacom, Mike Adenuga, comes in a close sixth after Rabiu with an estimated net worth of $6.7 billion.

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BUSINESS

All Set For HighPoint Event Centre Opening – Omolara Adebiyi (C.E.O)

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A new date has been fixed for the opening of the latest super event center in Lagos: HighPoint. With Thursday, February 3 2022 confirmed as the D-day, the opening of the HighPoint Event Center will be nothing but spectacularly grand.

The brains behind HighPoint, Mrs. Omolara Adebiyi intends to give the guests something to think and talk about as 2022 unfolds. Thus, with her status as HighPoint CEO, her colorful achievements will be matched with the colorful event in which her relatives, friends, business associates, and admirers can clink a glass or two in her honor.

Mrs. Omolara Adebiyi CEO HighPoint Event Centre

Lest the public assumes that HighPoint is like every other event center in Lagos, a trip to the heart-beat of Lagos, Alausa in Ikeja should wind down any such erroneous assumption. Omolara established HighPoint over an enormous stretch of land that is estimated at 10,000 square meters. Inside this superb piece of real estate are features that can send the mind into a trance. These include two fitly framed floors that can accommodate a total of 3,000 individuals, For the capacity, Banquet style is 1000, while theatre style is 2000.

HighPoint’s VIP lounge is something else that stretches the natural limits of the eye. The 18 single-bed rooms can only be described as Dubai-level luxurious. And how does one describe the 2-bedroom suites for lodging and accommodation or the 500-vehicle car park with its air-tight security? Indeed, HighPoint as a masterpiece is set to change the face of event centers in the city of aquatic splendor. It is a testament of class, pristine and exquisitely polished.

HighPoint Event Center

Really, the building emphasizes without much effort the sheer tastefulness of the owner. The attention to detail that characterizes the structure is excellent. Irrefutably, both the interior and exterior decor were carefully chosen and planned with flawless finesse.

All of these will be showcased to the event guests come the third of February. Naturally, the lucky guests are expected to delightedly help Omolara inaugurate the next-level edifice, laying the foundation for future copies from peers.

With the introduction of HighPoint, it is now clear that Omolara’s ceiling of vision and achievements is farther than the azure sky. She continues to distinguish herself as an industrious woman of substance, accomplished industrialist, and entrepreneur par excellence.

As a virtuous woman, Omolara will always find reasons to add more to her husband’s high-flying fortunes. She will continue to take great steps in this dimension, especially when her husband is widely acknowledged as being in the vanguard of great achievers and pioneers in Nigeria.

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BIG STORY

First Bank Rewards Customers In The Transact And Win Promo

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Many people’s dreams of being rewarded for spending money will likely remain unfulfilled, but not for Firstmonie Wallet customers. First Bank of Nigeria Limited is awarding numerous clients for using its Firstmonie Wallet application in a two-month Transact and Win campaign that began on November 22, 2021.

The e-wallet is useful for conveniently paying utility bills, purchasing airtime and data, transferring and receiving money, and many other digital transactions. Just for using the mobile-friendly wallet app, Customers got rewarded with mouth-watering prizes both in cash and kind. The number of transactions done on the app determines the price a user could win.

100 customers who had done 1-15 transactions through Firstmonie Wallet within the month won N10,000 cash price; 53 25kg bags of rice and 50 units of standing fans were also won by customers who carried out 16 – 30 transactions with the Firstmonie Wallet; 2 units of power generating sets, 1 unit of Air Conditioning systems and 1 unit LED Televisions went to customers who carried 31 – 50 transactions; while 2 units of iPhone 12 were won by customers who had carried out over 50 transactions on the app within the month.

Victor Nnanna Onyedikachi, a student of the University of Abuja was one of the winners of the iPhone 12, and while receiving his gift, he admitted that he did not expect to win the prize.  “I used the Firstmonie Wallet App, and just like that, I was told that I had qualified. I did not believe it until I saw it myself. I am truly grateful to FirstBank” he said.

Other winners also expressed their pleasure at being rewarded for using a completely user-friendly app. “There is no issue of service error when using it for any transaction. The service is seamless and the app is easy to use” one of them said.

The Group Executive, e-Business & Retail products, Mr. Chuma Ezirim had noted that the promo was targeted at appreciating customers for their patronage; and in line with the Bank’s December-is-a-Vybe campaign. “This promo is hinged on the need to appreciate our customers for their patronage, especially as we have had an increased engagement and usages of the various services offered by our mobile-friendly wallet product,” Ezirim said when the promo was being launched.

Interestingly, the promo also includes new customers and users of the app. By simply downloading the mobile app from the play store, or using the *894# USSD string to sign up, anyone can qualify for the promo. The promo runs till January 22, 2022, so what are you waiting for as you could be the next winner of any of these fantastic prizes.

As the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 127 years, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has remained at the forefront of promoting digital payment in the country, and the Firstmonie Wallet is one of the channels for digital transactions.

Little wonder FirstBank was named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International.  FirstBank also bagged the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years.

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