First Bank supports food SMES
AS part of its commitment to promoting the development of Small and Medium Enterprises in the country, First Bank of Nigeria has expressed its support for food entrepreneurs.
The Chairman, Mrs ibukun Awosika, made this known during a food event that was organised by the bank and attended by food entrepreneurs in Lagos.
She said it was critical to support the SMES across critical sectors of the industry, including the fashion industry, food sector and others as many people were trying to do business.
While speaking on the bank’s interest to support food entrepreneurs, she said, “We are trying to diversify the economy and agriculture is the first option. We need the value chain of agriculture, and this includes those who are involved in foods sector.
“When you have 200 million people, food is good business. What we are trying to do is in support of nation building; we are seeking to encourage the Small and Medium Enterprises in different sectors of the economy.
“One of the things we are trying to do is to help create jobs, because if you look at it, about 65 per cent of our population are people under 40 and the highest of our employment rate are those between 20 years and 35 years.
“So we need to create jobs. As you create more opportunities, you create jobs and grow the economy.”
To participate in the event, she explained that there was a general call for food enterprises which was approved by the bank.
She said that the bank had different services to support the SMES.
She said, “A lot of businesses that are big today, are businesses we supported. This kind of event helps you to see the businesses that need to be supported. We are able to engage them when we bring them together and know what they actually need.”
One of the food vendors at the event, Ms Biola, who runs iya ibadan Food, said it was her third year of attending the event.
She said her firm had the opportunity to showcase some of its menu at the event.
During such events, she said the customers who came around were able to get its contact for patronage.
Another chef at the event, Ijemo Obeneme, said, it provided her the opportunity to provide what she offered.
“i registered and was allowed and have enjoyed every bit of it, i want to network,” she said.