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Ecobank to ‘Ellevate” Nigerian Women In Business; Over 40 Million Small Businesses To Benefit

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Ellevate

 Ecobank Nigeria has launched “Ellevate”, a gender-based proposition for women-owned businesses to reduce gender inequality in entrepreneurship and aid equal representation for women in the formal business sector.

 

The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan said the Ellevate product introduced to the nation’s financial landscape on Wednesday, is targeted at empowering at least 40 million women owned or women-managed businesses in the country. This he reiterated is part of Ecobank’s Group  objective as the leading pan-African financial institution to drive financial integration and contribute to the economic development of the continent by deepening engagement with women-owned businesses.

“Ellevate is designed by Ecobank to empower women-owned and women-managed businesses in Nigeria and indeed across all our Africa footprints, leveraging various unique financial and non-financial benefits. Ellevate promises an end-to-end partnership in which they could gain access to financial services specially tailored for them, these include loans at special terms and other mouthwatering discounts.

 

They will also get fixed deposit investments at special premium rates, zero account maintenance fee, continuous financial education and capacity building under our AUDA-NEPAD academy and other special arrangements. They will have access to networking and recognition under our business clubs as well as access to markets, leveraging our various e-commerce solutions”. He stated.

Further, the Ecobank Nigeria Managing Director reiterated that the businesses under Ellevate will also have “access to Ecobank’s unique digital payments and collections solutions like Omnilite for payments, EcobankpayNQR for contactless local and cross-border collections, modern POS channels, and various lifestyle benefits including campaigns and promotions to drive their business growth and personal well-being.” He said “the Ellevate proposition is a total package addressing the broad needs of women-owned businesses in Nigeria including businesses that produce for women.

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In his comment, the special guest of honour, Managing Director, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Mr Tony Okpanachi, represented by Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Bonaventure Okhaimo, lauded Ecobank for introducing the product, stating that it would go a long way to assisting the target group.

 

 

He disclosed that DBN was doing a lot to uplift small businesses in the country, stressing that it was ready to partner with reputable financial institutions such as Ecobank in that regard.

Founder of Ruff n Tumble, Nike Ogunlesi, who was a panelist at the event, advised women business owners to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by Ecobank through Ellevate to develop their businesses. She called on women entrepreneurs to be resilient and know the role customers, people, finance, community, and technology play in business growth.

 

On her part, Innovations and Partnerships Advisor at Nigeria for Women Project, Tolulope Babajide, said “with Ellevate, Ecobank truly understands the needs of women owned businesses. She spoke on scalability, sustainability, and expansion of MSMEs.

Other speakers at the event including the Founder, Health Africa, Fola Laoye; the Founder, Braveline Growth Partners, Taba Peterside/ they all lauded Ecobank for initiating such a product, stating that it would benefit women businesses and lift many families out of poverty.

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The advertising industry in Nigeria: Maximising the post-COVID reality – Seyi Tinubu

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Seyi Tinubu

Since the launch of the first news outlet in Nigeria in 1859, Nigeria’s advertising industry has grown to become a flourishing self-sustaining ecosystem valued at a whopping 425 million U.S. dollars as of 2017 and a projected foreseeable exponential growth in the coming years as a result of the dominance of internet revenue. While many other industries are gradually recovering and working to bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this economic powerhouse is set to remain on an upward trajectory Post-covid.

Amidst several months of grounded airplanes, closed churches and empty streets, several countries and global economies have experienced the shock waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. From real estate to finance and healthcare – especially healthcare – almost every sector of the economy has been touched in one way or another. One industry, however, has remained unshaken, resilient, withstanding all the knocks and shocks and continuing to thrive despite oppositions – advertising.

This is not to say that commercial advertising did not experience its fair share of economic downturn, even taking a significant plunge during the pandemic year. In fact, many brands reordered their priorities entirely, choosing to engage in COVID-19 awareness campaigns across social media. Some others took to leveraging collaborations with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the government to consolidate efforts and flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread, and provide relief packages to vulnerable target groups within the society – although, in hindsight, this may have been a strategic move to ensure that brands are projected positively continuously.

In any case, the advertising industry globally is fast rising back to pre-pandemic levels and even experiencing exponential growth— a vast contrast from the diminishing returns that it had begun to experience a few years back — and the reason is not far-fetched. Several factors are responsible for this drastic turn of events. Firstly, it goes without saying that advertising thrives on consumer behavior. And if there’s one thing we can be certain about post-pandemic, it’s that consumer behavior has changed significantly. What thriving and innovative advertising companies did during the pandemic was to change with the times and seasons that consumers were in. This meant changing from regular TV and radio advertising to digital advertising. This switch was to align with the fact that consumers spent more time at home in front of screens. Commuting time was allocated to binge-watching videos online, and as a result, digital reigned supreme.

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Today, COVID-19 has definitely expedited the process of transforming legacy marketing structures and practices for the digital economy. In Nigeria especially, the pandemic served as an exponential accelerator for connected TV and E-commerce marketing- which though were already in place, were struggling to gain widespread popularity. By dwelling more on social media and direct response selling, retailers were able to sell their goods to a wider audience due to shifting consumer behavior to online trade channels, thereby promoting the growth of Nigeria’s e-commerce industry.

This wasn’t the case in the last decade. Just a few years back, advertisers in Nigeria spent a large chunk of their time, effort and resources trying to encourage consumers to buy something they haven’t seen or tried on. Brands across all industries struggled to use the power of their online presence to engage potential customers and drive them down the marketing funnel through video adverts, blogs, email newsletters, or other types of digital lead generation activities. Even before the pandemic, converting that online presence to actual sales was a difficult feat.

However, COVID-19 has drastically altered the rules of the game.

With the pandemic keeping everyone at home, time spent on convincing was less, and many more consumers became more inclined to buy things and use services they needed online. As a result, several mega-companies across Nigeria took advantage of this, leaving advertisers no choice but to keep up with the times, spending about $350 million on advertising and marketing. Whilst there was no dominant sector, the likes of telecommunications giant MTN and beverage colossus, Nigerian Breweries led the table as the highest spenders in the year.

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The influencer niche is one area that has been cemented fully into the world of advertising. If there’s one thing that took the internet by storm in 2020, it was influencers. With the rise of social media, apps like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook (Now Meta) became entertainment hotspots for millennials and Gen Zs, more and more people rose to the influencer status, making the position crucial to Nigeria’s advertising industry. In fact, a survey carried out by the Nigeria Influencer Marketing Report (NIMReport) revealed that over 30% of advertisers now value influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy.

Although we are no longer in the heat of the pandemic, it is incontrovertible that the pandemic brought a lasting shift to Nigeria’s advertising ecosphere. We may have coined the term “post-covid era”, but in actual fact, the pandemic has ushered us into a new age, a new season that we may never return from. This means that the bar has permanently risen for advertising agencies and businesses across Nigeria as consumers are now holding them to higher standards. What they demand nowadays are tactful and mindful marketing strategies. They’re no longer asking if you have what they want but rather expect you to have what they want.

To navigate this new terrain, advertising in Nigeria will need to be more data and technology focused, with advertisers working to integrate some form of artificial intelligence or machine learning into the mix. With the right data, advertising companies will be fully equipped to create the right consumer experiences across one or more dimensions of the four Cs of marketing: Commerce, Community, Content, and Convenience. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to these four areas, consumers require a more personalized experience.

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Experts such as PWC have predicted that Nigeria’s entertainment market is poised to reach $10.8 billion (N4.4 trillion) in 2023, having reached $4.5 billion in 2018. With the interconnectedness of advertising and entertainment and the recent tactic of presenting advertising as entertainment, it is imperative that relevant stakeholders properly harness the immense benefits available for the advertising sector. This can be done in several ways, with collaboration being paramount. Partnerships between sectoral groups in marketing and communications will expand the advertising landscape of the Nigerian market and will bring world-class advertising opportunities

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HAVING A FIRSTBANK SALARY ACCOUNT CAN EASE YOUR MONEY PROBLEMS, FIND OUT HOW…

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First Bank

“There is always a lot to spend money on, and sometimes the bills can’t wait for the salary to be paid” Tope complained when his wife informed him that they had run out of cooking gas and had to refill.

 

He had just moved to a new location with his family and the bills seemed to be coming at such speed that he could hardly keep up.

 

Barely three weeks in the new apartment, the electricity bill had arrived. The new apartment was bigger than the last and their two double-seater cushions left too much space vacant in the seating room. They needed to get a couple more furniture to fill the space. His wife had not stopped reminding him of the car he promised to get, in order to ease mobility for the family.

 

Everyone has been a Tope at some point in time, and that is why everyone needs a financial partner like FirstBank, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services brand. FirstBank offers a variety of loan products that can help you ease off pressure as you work towards meeting pressing and urgent needs, as well as medium term goals.

FirstAdvance is a digital product tailored for Salary Account holders, who have an urgent cash need and would want to access salary advance from the bank. If you have held a salary account with FirstBank for up to two months, you can access 50% of your monthly net salary and as much as half a million naira (N500,000).

 

A physical visit to the bank branch is not required as you can access it via the FirstMobile (FirstBank’s Mobile banking app) and USSD channels. To access the service via USSD, dial *894*11# from the phone number linked with your FirstBank account. This has proved to be the solution for many people while emergencies arise before pay day. There is no point in waiting for month end before you can take on those pressing financial obligations.

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FirstCredit is another digital product designed to cater for the non-salaried individuals. All that is required is for your account to have been active and transacting in FirstBank for six months or more to access FirstCredit. It provides customers with quick and easy access to loans to fund urgent transactions. You do not need a smart phone or a physical visit to the bank to get this done as well. This credit facility can be accessed using a mobile phone and the USSD banking code, *894*11#. You can access as much as N300,000 to be repaid within 30 days.

 

No physical documentation or collateral is required, neither do you need a physical visit to the bank to access both loans. Imagine the confidence that comes with sorting out your bills within minutes and without having to wait till month end.

 

Salary accounts should do more than receiving your monthly pay from your employer. It should be instrumental in making your day-to-day living easier, and this is what having your salary account with FirstBank can achieve for you. You can get a Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS) if you have a a longer-term project at hand or investments to make. It may be paying school fees for your kids, acquiring assets or renovating your properties, paying rent, taking professional examinations.

 

Customer who qualify can access Up to N50 million based on their net monthly income and rates are competitive, while offering long term and flexible repayments up to 48 months tenor.

 

Despite all these benefits and ease in access to loans, it literarily costs nothing to open a FirstBank Salary Account. Zero opening balance, Zero minimum daily operating balance, Zero account maintenance charge, plus you even get your first debit card issued for free.
Truly, it is always “YOU FIRST” from FirstBank.

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UBA Group Dominates the 2021 Banker Awards, Wins ‘African Bank of the Year’

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UBA

Breaks the Banker Magazine Record as it wins Best Bank in Nigeria and 12 of Its Subsidiaries Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc yet again, reaffirms its leadership position across Africa, as the bank has been globally recognised as the African Bank of the year 2021 by the Banker Magazine, a leading global finance news publication published by the Financial Times of London.

 

UBA’s solid financial performance, its excellent service delivery to customers and its continuous role of facilitating rapid economic growth across the African continent were some of the reasons that led to the bank being named best bank in 12 of its African subsidiaries and in Nigeria. UBA Nigeria Plc, UBA Benin, UBA Burkina Faso, UBA Cameroon, UBA Chad, UBA Congo Brazzaville, UBA Cote D’Ivoire, UBA Gabon, UBA Guinea, UBA Liberia, UBA Senegal, UBA Sierra Leone and UBA Zambia all came out top as the best banks in their respective countries.

 

This will not be a first for UBA. In 2020, six of its subsidiaries in Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Zambia were winners of the Best Bank award. This year, the UBA Group is breaking a record with its exceptional wins as African Bank of the Year and Bank of the year in 13 countries. The total 14 awards makes it the first time ever in the history of the almost 100 years of The banker, that any banking group will be clinching as many as 14 wins in a single year.

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At the Virtual award ceremony which was held on December 1st 2021, the Middle East and Africa Editor for The Banker, John Everington, explained at the event that a rigorous and highly analytical process is made annually to reach the decision for each Bank of the Year award and the institution’s reputation for independence, authority and integrity is thoroughly applied to each submission.

 

“While several African banks impressed the judges this year, there was no doubt as to the worthiest recipient of the Bank of the Year for Africa – UBA Group – a clear winner across a wide range of criteria. UBA has performed impressively across its footprint with a strong financial performance across most of its markets,” Everington said.

 

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, who expressed delight over the recognition from The Banker stated “Like I always say, at UBA, we must be doing something right. Winning 14 total awards in13 subsidiaries and the Bank of the Year on the African continent is a big achievement.’

 

Continuing, Uzoka said, “The recognitions come as a reassurance that we are on track in consolidating our leadership position in Africa, as we continue to create superior value for all our stakeholders. We have our millions of customers across the globe and our many thousands of staff to thank for this. They are the very reason why we keep winning’

 

Since1926, the Bank of the Year awards has been celebrating the best of global banking and is regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence. The 2021 edition highlights those institutions that have outshone their peers in terms of performance, strategic initiatives and response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Banker Magazine is a publication of the Financial Times – a leading global finance news publication which has been in existence since 1888. The Banker magazine is the definitive reference in international banking for high level decision makers.

 

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries.

 

With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services

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