• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Nigeria’s Development Bank empowers techpreneurs for business growth

Nigeria’s Development Bank empowers techpreneurs for business growth

Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), a wholesale development finance institution, established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with global development partners, has empowered three Nigerian Technology Entrepreneurs (Techpreneurs) for business growth.

The empowerment, which took place during the second edition of its Techpreneur Summit in Lagos, was part of the bank’s commitment to alleviating financial constraints and improving the capacity of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

The three Tech startups emerged after a rigorous selection process by subject matter experts who sieved through 79 submissions in the 2023 edition.

Consequently, Onimisi Charles Atere, the team lead and founder, Nimsy Solar Pumps emerged winner with a cash reward of N1.5 million.

The second position went to Etim Monica Monday, the CFO of Solaristique Nigeria Limited an Agric Tech recycling and clean energy company.

She was rewarded with a cash prize of N1 million while Godwin Adoga, founder of OG capital, an organization that facilitates safe and fertile land within specially designed estates went home with N750,000.

With the potential of the Information Technology sector to transform the Nigerian economy and the acknowledged lack of debt-based investments and mentorship in this sector, Development Bank of Nigeria initiated the Techpreneur summit as a platform to deepen the understanding of Nigeria’s Tech ecosystem, foster collaborations between all stakeholders, and ensure sustainable solutions in the long term.

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The theme for 2023 summit was “promoting innovation and sustainable partnerships,” which aimed at driving conversation in the technology sector and accelerating its impact on the social-economic development of Nigeria, by creating jobs, improving the lives of people, and scaling up Nigeria’s tech presence globally.

Speaking virtually at the event, Tony Okpanachi, managing director/CEO of the Development Bank of Nigeria, in his opening remarks called for an alliance that will catalyze investments in the tech sector in order to promote innovation and a sustainable future.

He accentuated the importance of the Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) to the socio-economic development of the region and the country.

According to him, “It has become imperative for us to pull resources together and channel collaborative efforts towards building the capacity of the MSMSE as a way of revitalizing their operations to address the challenge of access to finance. This will guarantee their growth and boost the economic potentials of this critical sub-sector.”

Olu Akanmu, co-president Opay Nigeria, in his keynote address, said that Nigeria is a tale of two countries with acute social inequalities, stressing that even the tech communities and businesses are behaving like traditional commercial banks; focusing on providing financial services to the under-served or those who are already banked leaving the rural financially excluded.

“There is a greater purpose fintech have to fulfil to drive more extended financial inclusion, not just to chase the customers of incumbent banks even when they might have been underserved,” he said in his keynote address.

Akanmu, whose company helped Nigerians deal with a cash crunch in early 2023, argued that the digital innovations of fintech when combined with the partnerships could expand market access and scale at no cost. “With deliberate partnerships for a bigger purpose to create more value, the customers and the businesses will benefit,” he said.