Diamond Bank Partners Facebook to Train 20,000 SMEs

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Diamond Bank Partners Facebook to Train 20,000 SMEs

Diamond Bank has announced a new partnership with social media giant, Facebook, to train Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on digital skills. Targeting about 20,000 SMEs, the partnership aims to boost the online presence of these businesses and help them grow.

The training will equip business owners with the needed skills to showcase their businesses and products online. With billions of users on Facebook, this approach will aid them in courting new customers across geolocations.

“We are leveraging technology with SME businesses. The programme is about collaboration between Facebook and Diamond Bank”, says Nkem Okoro, Head of Regional Businesses South at Diamond Bank. “The idea behind the exercise is to give our SME customers the platform to merge their business with their Facebook accounts.”

However, digital training sessions have already begun. Anchored by She Leads Africa, the first set of SMEs got their training over the weekend in Calabar, Cross Rivers State. According to the bank, the training kicked off with over 120 SMEs in attendance.

“What we are doing today is to create online visibility and teach them how to monetise that visibility,” Mrs. Ayodele Olojede, Diamond’s Head of Emerging Businesses said after the training.

“Just by being on Facebook, you can increase your sales by over 33 per cent and a lot of women are not aware of this. Facebook is already a market for 26 million Nigerians and yet business owners are not aware. So, if you are not online, you are missing the opportunity to be able to scale up your businesses. That is the reason for this training.”

Why the Emphasis on Women?

Apparently, women entrepreneurs are a key target of the training. “Diamond Bank is focused on supporting SMEs and we recognise that access to market was a limiting factor in doing business,” said Mrs. Ayodele Olojede. “We also recognise the contributing factor of women in the growth of GDP.”

This is, however, not without reason. A large number of women already run businesses in the informal economy–selling food items, running beauty salons, owning clothing stores, etc. But they are severely unrecognised by the business laws of the country.

Also, Facebook’s partnership with Diamond Bank flows from its own agenda for women-led businesses. In fact, in May 2018, the company announced #SheMeansBusiness, a training initiative aimed at boosting women entrepreneurship in the country.


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