Fidelity Bank held the maiden edition of its SME Funding Series on Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 at the Landmark Event Centre, with over 1,000 entrepreneurs in attendance.
The Grants Competition, which happens to be the highlight of the SME Funding Series themed “Entrepreneurship Meets Capital” was organized by the bank to deepen the conversation on “funding” by bringing together small business owners, model entrepreneurs, fund providers, angel investors, private equity firms & venture capitalists under one roof.
Twelve (12) finalists emerged from more than 2,500 successful applicants who went through a rigorous and intensive selection process conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Consequently, the top 5 finalists pitched their business concepts to a panel of independent judges at the event on Wednesday.
Yetunde Ayo-Oyalowo of Market Doctor, an innovative healthcare provider that sets up clinics around clustered markets in the country, emerged the overall winner of the Fidelity SME Funding Grants Competition, carting away the N2 million in grants for her business.
Nelly Agboju of Healthy Nellies, a food production firm, and Miriam Lawani of Greenhill Recycling, who emerged first and second runner ups respectively, took home the sum of N1 million each. Other finalists include Adeyinka Tekenah of ‘Happy Coffee’ and Olalekan Afolayan of ‘Pack My Load’ (Logistics), who both received consolation prizes of N500,000 each. The rest of the 12 finalists received N200,000 each.
Nnamdi Okonkwo, MD/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, emphasized the importance of Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, while delivering his keynote address commended Fidelity Bank for the initiative.
Other highlights of the event include the unveiling of two new products for small businesses by Fidelity Bank, namely; Fidelity Business Plus Account and Fidelity Trader Support Facility and the networking opportunities provided by the small business owners to pitch their business to potential investors such as Sahel Capital Ventures, Verod Capital, African Capital Alliance, and Renaissance Capital.
At the event, Fidelity bank reiterated its commitment to providing long-term funding for MSMEs through its funding partners including private equity firms, Venture Capitals (VCs) and Angel Investors worth over $1 billion. This window gave the participants and business owners the opportunity to network with the fund providers.
Notable business owners such as Obi Ezeude, Founder/CEO of Beloxxi, Mo Abudu, CEO, Ebonylife TV, Akindele Phillips, Co-Founder, Farm Crowdy, Dr. Richard Ajayi, CEO, The Bridge Clinic, Seun Abolaji, CEO, Wilsons Juice, CEO and Co-founder, MAX Okada, Adetayo Bamiduro amongst others, participated in a highly engaging panel sessions.
Hostesses of the day
Representatives of Development Bank of Nigeria
Representatives of PwC attending to customers at the event.
Nnamdi Okonkwo ,MD/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, Ernest Ebi (Chairman, Fidelity Bank Plc), Obi Ezeude, (CEO, Beloxxi Industries Ltd)
Ernest Ebi (Chairman, Fidelity Bank Plc) with Mrs. Yetunde Odejayi (Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State)
Comperes – Okey Bakassi and Ugo Dre with Josh Praize (Pianist & Saxophonist)
Nnamdi Okonkwo with Josh Praize
Chijioke Ugochukwu (Executive Director, Fidelity Bank Plc) with the Fidelity Bank Team
A Cross-section of guests at the event
Nnamdi Okonkwo speaking to the guests
Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (Deputy Governor, Lagos State) giving the keynote speech
Nnamdi Okonkwo with the Deputy Governor (Lagos State), Dr. Obafemi Hamzat
Nnamdi Okonkwo (MD & CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc), Deputy Governor (Lagos State), Obafemi Hamzat, and Ernest Ebi (Chairman, Fidelity Bank Plc)
Deputy Governor (Lagos State), Nnamdi Okonkwo, Ernest Ebi with the panelists – Mudashiru Olaitan, Toyin Adeniji, Bonaventure Okhaimo, Prof Yinka David-West, Obi Ezeude, Bunmi Adeoye
Deputy Governor (Lagos State), Nnamdi Okonkwo, Ernest Ebi, Chijioke Ugochukwu with the finalists of the Fidelity SME Funding Grants Competition
Some of the finalists from the Fidelity SME Funding Grants Competition
Panel Session ‘Funding My Business’ – Dr Richard Ajayi, Tayo Bamiduro, Seun Abolaji, Co-Founder, Seyi Akindele-Ige & Mo Abudu
Panelist – Seyi Akindele-Ige (Founder, Skretting)
Panelist – Seun Abolaji (Co-Founder, Wilson’s Juice)
Moderator – Dr. Andrew S. Nevin PHD (Partner & Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria)
Panelist – Tayo Bamiduro (Co-Founder, Max.ng)
Bunmi Akinyemiju (CEO, Venture Garden Group)
mdi Okonkwo, Ernest Ebi and Obi Ezeude (Founder & CEO, Beloxxi Industries Ltd)
Panelist – Mo Abudu (CEO, EbonyLife TV)
Nnamdi Okonkwo, Soni Irabor
Dr. Nnaeto Orazulike (Founder & Group CEO, Genesis Group) with Nnamdi Okonkwo
Panel Session – ‘Get Ready For Funding’ – Danladi Verheijen, Mezuo Nwuneli, Dapo Akinpelu, Bunmi Akinyemi, Victoria Fabunmi
Toyin Adeniji (ED, Micro-Enterprises Directorate, Bank of Industry)
Nnamdi Okonkwo, Chijioke Ugochukwu, Chidi Agbapu, with Nnaeto Orazulike, Danladi Verheijen, Mezuo Nwuneli, Dapo Akinpelu, Bunmi Akinyemi, Victoria Fabunmi
Kayode Olowoniyi (Former Executive Director, Fidelity Bank Plc), Nnebolisa Ara (Former Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc) with Nnamdi Okonkwo
Bonaventure Okhaimo (COO, Development Bank of Nigeria)
The PwC Nigeria Team
Nnamdi Okonkwo, Chidi Agbapu (Non-Executive Director, Fidelity Bank Plc), Dr. Andrew Nevin PHD with the judges – Prof. Yinka David-West, James Fabola, Bonaventure Okhaimo, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji
Victoria Fabunmi (Investment Manager, Co-Creation Hub)
Mezuo Nwuneli (Managing Partner, Sahel Capital Ventures)
The top 12 finalists on stage
Some of the finalists cheering on
Olalekan Olalekan of PackMyLoad
Mariam Lawani of Greenhill Recycling
Emmanuel Benson of Alpha, SEO
Yomi Ojo of School Compass receiving his certificate of participation
Omonigho Aito Imonah of Naija Fashionista receiving her certificate of participation
Casmir Charles of Tshally Foods receiving his certificate of participation
Kufre Akpan of Silver Bricks receiving his certificate of participation
Roseline Olajide of Obaebae receiving her certificate of participation
Yetunde Ayo-Oyalowo (1st Prize Winner of the Fidelity SME Funding Grants Competition)
Daniel Audu of Driversng receiving his certificate of participation
Mariam Lawani and Yetunde Ayo-Oyalowo
Mariam Lawani (2nd prize winner in the Grants Competition)
Nelly Agboju of Nellies in 3rd place with N1million in grants for her business
Kwabena Asante-Poku (Partner, Advisory Deals, Pwc), Osaigbovo Omorogbe (Head, Managed SMEs, Fidelity Bank Plc) and Oluseyi Agbedana (Senior Manager, PwC) with the top 5 finalists.
Chijioke Ugochukwu giving the closing speech
Panel Session -‘Entrepreneurship Meets Capital’