Western Union and a Nigerian bank open a pitching session for entrepreneurs

Money transfer giant Western Union has, in partnership with Bank of Industry, started a forum that will see startups pitch to banking officials for funding for their business.

The pact for the forum also includes partnership with African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

This comes after the second African Diaspora Marketplace, which awarded matching grants to 17 businesses in June. Some of the businesses awarded included ICT related ones like Mobile Payment Solutions Ltd from Zambia, OTGPlaya Entity LLC an IT cloudbased business in Nigeria amongst others.

“The event will see each SME having an individual time segment to pitch their business goals, along with a Q&A feedback session with the panel of bankers.  After companies have a chance to present, financial institutions will individually invite companies of their choice to engage in a more private setting,” the organisers said.

The event aims to expose businesses which need funding from debt financing “as well as an opportunity to explore other resources and support.”

“The forum, which is the first of its kind in Africa, will be a unique opportunity for Nigerian SMEs as well as those in the diaspora and Nigerian bankers,” Evelyn Oputu, managing director and CEO of Bank of Industry, commented.

She added:, “The realisation of Africa’s development potential and its economic integration is largely dependent on SMEs going forward, considering the higher multiplier effects and developmental impact of SMEs per unit of investment. An institution like BOI has a critical role to play in helping SMEs to grow.”

“Access to capital is one of the most difficult challenges faced by entrepreneurs doing business in Africa,” commented Barbara Span, Vice President, Global Public Affairs for Western Union, “Through this one-of-a-kind event, SMEs operating in Nigeria and across Sub-Saharan Africa will get direct access to financial institutions and technical resource partners.”

The pitching event is expected to take place today (November 19) and end on November 20.

Posted in: Features

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