Mastercard recently held the SME Masterclass Webinar which offered valuable insights on how to grow small businesses in Nigeria during these uncertain times. The exciting and interactive session teamed some of Nigeria’s incisive business and management gurus – Bankole Williams, Steve Harris, and Wonuola Okoye as they shared tips and advice with small business owners and the general public that will assist the advancement of SMEs.
The engaging session kicked off with an introductory speech by Mastercard’s Kari Tukur, Vice President, Products, Sub Saharan Africa, who reiterated Mastercard’s commitment to supporting SMEs through partnerships such as with Innovectives and Netplus, engineering local innovation through Lab for Financial Inclusion and by offering low-cost payments acceptance solutions.
An example of such solutions is the Mastercard QR which takes advantage of the mobile shift to non-cash payments and overcomes infrastructure and barrier costs for micro-merchants. Another solution was deployed in partnership with DPO Group which makes it easier for small business owners to create their own websites, when combined with Mastercard’s Simplify, small business owners have e-shop builder tools and payment gateway solutions.
Bankole Williams discussed business continuity in tough times, he emphasized that “when a crisis happens, small business owners should remain calm and not panic, they should calculate the next move, communicate effectively to stakeholders, be creative and find the right people to collaborate with.”
Steve Harris conversed on business immunity – protecting and upskilling your business against the impact of COVID-19. He emphasized that “the business destination is more important than the transportation”. Business owners need to prioritize the end goal by prioritizing customers’ needs and what they want to buy.”
Wonuola Okoye deliberated on why many SMEs fail and the key factors for success. Business owners need to be “objective and practical in their approach – they shouldn’t hang on to an idea for too long and must not get too emotionally attached”. Owners need to validate the business model, develop a unique selling point, have knowledge of their target audience, develop a brand identity, allow the business to grow organically, and develop a detailed marketing strategy.
You can catch up on all the informative and exciting discussions on Mastercard’s YouTube channel.