BusinessDay

Cedrus Group unveils ‘Cedrus 5000 Africa SMEs’ programme

Over 100 thriving business owners from the private sector across various industries of the economy, public servants, and investment bankers came together on May 12 to celebrate the first anniversary of Cedrus Group Africa at their ‘Magnate’s Breakfast’, a first of its series.

The attendees enjoyed a morning filled with networking and learning as the guests enjoyed an insightful keynote presentation tagged ‘SMEs and their Globabl Impact: Why SMEs fail’ by Abimbola Olashore, the President and Chairman of Council, Association of Investment Advisors and Portfolio Managers.

Cedrus Group is a globally-minded, Pan-African, financial and investment institution committed to delivering innovative financial advisory solutions to municipals, corporations, institutional investors and private clients across Africa and in the diaspora.

“As business owners, we need to stop working in silos and start collaborating amongst ourselves to serve every need associated with our industries,” he told a rapt audience at the event sponsored by AVA Capital Group, Whitegate Homes, Elvita Bitters, Keystone Bank, and United Bank of Africa.

Olashore also highlighted the importance of SMEs to the global economy, the ways in which the Nigerian SME ecosystem is severely lacking when compared to the rest of the world and how Nigerian business owners can do better to succeed locally and globally.

The event also featured a panel discussion with speakers who are business leaders with vast experience within their different industries. Speakers included Kayode Falasinui, Tosin Ajose, Ayobola Abiola, and Omopeju Afanu. The panel was moderated by Olubusayo Adeniyi, CEO of Cedrus Group Africa.

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Ideas shared during included that of Tosin Ajose, Founder of DealHQ Partners, who espoused the importance of systems, processes, and structures when starting and operating a business. She also pointed out a fatal flaw in most SME operations: the lack of proper data collation during the early years of operations.

Omopeju Afanu, the current Managing Director of Cooperhouse Limited spoke on technology being at the heart of SME growth and ‘convenience’ being the product of the future. She also spoke on starting a business out of one’s passion and skill sets and not due to following current profitable trends.

Kayode Falasinu, CEO of AVA Capital Group spoke on the significant risk present in the African SME ecosystem. He explained that the onus is on SME owners to de-risk their businesses to attract investors by putting the right processes from the onset.

Ayobola Abiola, founder & CEO of Fullhouse Advisory Partners spoke about the role of financial advisors in helping a business through every stage of its life cycle from inception to success. He explained that advisory firms can help businesses with market research, operations, governance, or whatever is required beyond financing.

After the panel discussion, the ‘Cedrus 5000 Africa SMEs’ programme was officially launched; The programme is intended to give over 5000 Sub-Saharan Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) access to specialised advisory services required for scaling, funding and corporate development. Selected businesses would have the opportunity to follow a well-structured business-enhancement process to emerge into globally competitive entities.

“We believe that SMEs will play a key role in the financial independence of Africa”, said CEO of Cedrus Group Africa, Olubusayo Adeniyi, when asked about the firm’s focus on SME financing. “That is why we are so willing to invest in SMEs. We are investing in our continent’s future.’”

The event concluded with free advisory sessions where the panel speakers as well as Cedrus Group Africa staff were on hand to assist guests with the immediate challenges facing their businesses and steps to take to improve operations and profitability.

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