Union Bank, co-functioning with Connect Nigeria, has announced the release of the highest ranking 100 SMEs list. This scheme which went live in February at the yearly Connect Nigeria eBusiness fair for SMEs is tailored to recognize and celebrate some of Nigeria’s most promising startups that have shown praiseworthy resilience by competing in a business environment the country knows is quite challenging. ‘
At the opening phase of the process, more than 13 K applications were received, and from that 2,460 startups who met the stringent criteria emerged as nominees. The selection process to determine the final 100 was done by voting polls and assessments by the consulting firm, Sawubona. This assessment was based on innovativeness, scalability and sustainability proven by the existing of business company registration, effective bookkeeping techniques, branding and online presence.
More than 27 K votes were cast in the marathon to determine the finalists. The British Council and Lagos Chamber for Commerce and Industry (LCCI) took part in the setting up of the scheme to honor Nigerian startups. The Chief Executive Director of Connect Nigeria, Emeka Okafor spoke on the list. “Our drive is to recognize and kick up the hills for the top emerging SMEs in Nigeria. A major motive of this scheme was to demonstrate to the SMEs that adopting proper business structures and documenting is essential, at it helps to build bankable ventures which will enable them to access the finance needed for growth and expansion”.
The Head of Retail Segments, Union Bank, Paul Aseme, took his turn to say that “On behalf of Union Bank, I congratulate the top 100 SMEs finalists. As a bank that has been in business for more than a century, our commitment to assisting SMEs stems from our complete understanding of how challenging the business scene can be. This is the reason our SME segment at Union Bank provides banking solutions wired to meet their special needs and give entrepreneurs the guidance and assistance they need to excel”.
Union Bank has long been in support of startups, as evident in its earned Business Day Annual Banking Award in 2016 as the Best Bank to Support Nigeria SMEs.