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VENTURES AFRICA – The 2nd edition of SME Live Banking Panel kicks off today in Lagos presenting an opportunity for “more than 100 business leaders from Africa’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)” to pitch business plans to leading Nigerian and pan-African banks.
Organized by Nigeria’s Bank of Industry, in partnership with The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) and U.S. Agency for International Development(USAID) African Diaspora Marketplace, the 3-day event is held with the goal of expanding access to financing opportunities for African entrepreneurs and training for capacity development.
“When our customers’ businesses grow, national and regional economies benefit,” said Aida Diarra, Regional Vice President, (North Central and West Africa) for Western Union.
Recognizing the impact of women entrepreneurs, the initiative will emphasize financial opportunities and mentorship for women business owners, including participants from the US State Department’s African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program.
“Developing new approaches and opportunities that generate sustainable financial empowerment requires coordination and alignment across all sectors,” said former american Ambassador to Nigeira, Robin Renee Sanders.
She furthered: “A partnership between the Bank of Industry and the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) links the private sector, government leaders and global community to collectively make a significant and positive impact to help SMEs.”
The United States Department of State is a supporting partner of the African Diaspora Marketplace and the program is being implemented by the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF).