#SME1000 Featured Post


According to the World Bank, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) contribute up to 45% of total employment and up to 33% of national income (GDP) of emerging countries, Nigeria included. SMEs in Nigeria, in particular, are said to represent over 90% of businesses in the country. They are also said to contribute about 75% of Nigeria’s national employment; making them incredibly important to the economic growth of the country.
Small businesses in Nigeria have their challenges; lack of funding, poor infrastructural support, inadequate entrepreneurial/managerial skills, rigid government policies and even unreasonable operational costs. These are issues affecting many SMEs who, we believe, should grow to become big businesses that will drive Nigeria to greater economic heights.
So where does Red Star Express Plc come in? Through the SME 1000 platform.
The SME 1000 Platform is one that can help address some of the issues plaguing small businesses in Nigeria. Red Star Express Plc is paying a…

Don’t Let the Statement, “Customer Is Always Right” Ruin Your Business

The phrase the “customer is always right” was originally coined in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, The founder of Selfridge’s department store in London, and is typically used by businesses to convince customers that they will get good service at their company and convince employees to give customers good services.

As an entrepreneur, you should know that not all customers are good for business, and to avoid trouble you should let the wrong customers go instead of telling your employees that customers are always right.

Some customers make employees very unhappy which is really wrong and this tend to cause conflicts between employees and customer which is really bad for business.

Of course there are plenty of examples of bad employees giving lousy customer service but trying to solve this by declaring the customer is always right is counter-productive.

Using the slogan the ‘customer is always right’, abusive customers can demand just about anything – they are right by that definition,…

Fidelity Bank Partners International Agencies Over N500m SMEs’ Fund

In a bid to strengthen the non-oil sector, Fidelity Bank Plc is partnering international funding agencies and venture capitalists to provide N500 million funding for Small and Medium Enterprises.
Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s Managing Director, stated this at the 250th edition of the Fidelity Bank SMEs programme in Lagos.

Okonkwo said the bank was partnering venture capitalists and angel investors to organise ‘Fidelity Bank SME Funding Fair’ aimed at providing funding for SMEs to strengthen economic growth and development.

An angel investor is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.

Okonkwo said the funding would come in the form of equity participation and debt financing among others, noting that details of the fair would be made public at the right time.

He explained that the two-day funding fair scheduled for September would provide an avenue for SMEs to meet international funding firms apart f…

3 Skills That Will Make More Sales & Money For Your Business

At the end of the day, you will discover that the purpose or goal of any small business is to make sales. As a matter of fact, the world revolves around the word SELLING; everybody and every business is selling something. Even a graduate is selling his/herself via the CV. It's either you are selling a product or a service, the keyword there remains SELLING.

The earlier you understand that mastering the art of selling is the essence of why you're in business, the better for you.

In order to boost your sales in business, these 3 skills are very important to have. Please take note of these skills and, if possible, dedicate every resource within you to acquire these skills; or else it will just be same old story of little or no sales of your products/services over and over again.

Before delving into these skills, permit me to remind you that the art of selling and making more sales has moved from the brick and mortal store to online. As a matter of fact, if your business is not o…

How To Promote Your New Startup Business

Promoting your newly startup is a must and very compulsory. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, these proven marketing strategies will help your business find new customers without spending a fortune.

1. Plan your attack.
Define who your best prospects are, and then determine the best way to reach them. Be as specific as possible. Of your prospective clients, who are the decision makers; is it the CTO of the company, the director of human resources, or a 37-year-old working mom? Where can you easily find them; on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Facebook? What about in-person networking at local business meetings? Will they be searching for your type of product on Google, Bing or Yahoo? Do you want to start promoting your business to them at the start of their buying cycle, or when they’re about ready to pull out their credit card and make the purchase? Write your answers down, and refer to them before you start any new marketing tactic.

2. If you don’t hav…

Union Bank, Connect Nigeria unveil Top 100 emerging SMEs campaign

Union Bank, in collaboration with Connect Nigeria has announced the launch of Top 100 Emerging SMEs campaign. The campaign was unveiled at the eBusiness fair for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) held in Lagos recently.

The fair organized by Connect Nigeria and sponsored by Union Bank, is reputed as one of the largest gatherings of SMEs in Africa, drawing business owners, startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs from across the continent.

The Top 100 Emerging SMEs is an initiative aimed at identifying, honouring and supporting Nigeria’s leading upcoming SMEs who have shown resilience by thriving despite the challenging business environment while maintaining ethical business practices.

Speaking on the initiative, Union Bank’s Head of Retail Segments, Paul Aseme stated: “As a bank that recently crossed the century mark, we are committed to supporting the growth of Nigerian businesses so they can also be profitable and sustainable in the long term. We will continue supporting the SM…

What Nigerian Investors Want to See in Your Financial Statement

Are you looking to raise an investment or be bought out? Like anywhere else, investors in Nigeria will be looking at these key metrics.  So look closely,  track and work on improving them. 

1) Net Profit
“Are you making money?” is often the first question asked, but it’s only a starting point. Unsustainable profits are bad, and losses can be good if you’re on track to profitability as you scale up. But as many business owners do not often have a clear understanding of their net profit, this is a good place to start.

2) Sales
You may have an objectively amazing product or service, but the real question is, are people willing to buy it? If you establish a track record of sales before seeking an investment, investors don’t take on the risk of not knowing the answer to that question. Investors also care about sales growth. Are you showing an upward trend, or did the initial excitement fizzle out?

* Margins
Sales are meaningless if you aren’t making money. Investors also want to see your prof…