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Etisalat boosts SMEs growth with Market Access Forum 

L-R:General Manager, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, Olawale Anifowose; Head, Enterprise Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Chinelo Mbanefo and Specialist, SME Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Olufemi Oguntimehin, at the Market Access Forum organised by the Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University in partnership with Etisalat Nigeria in Lagos.

In furtherance of its commitment to the Federal Government’s objective of promoting Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) as enablers of national socio-economic development, Etisalat Nigeria has again sponsored another session of the quarterly Market Access Forum in Lagos.

Market Access Forum is a quarterly business networking and empowerment platform that enables owners of SMEs to interact and share knowledge with players in large corporations thereby equipping startup businesses for sustainable growth. The forum is organised by the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos in partnership with Etisalat Nigeria. Two previous sessions of the forum have held in Abuja and Port Harcourt this year.

Speaking at the event, Head, Enterprise Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Chinelo Mbanefo, restated Etisalat’s commitment to continued support for startup and growing businesses in Nigeria through innovative solutions that will stimulate the growth of the sector.

“At Etisalat Nigeria, we are passionate about the growth of the SMEs as enablers of socio-economic development. As a supportive network for SMEs, we have and we will continue to create and support platforms that help startup and growing businesses to network, build relationships and create endless possibilities for them to grow in a sustainable manner. Market Access Forum is one of such platforms”, she said.

Speaking on the importance of Market Access Forum, the General Manager, Enterprise Development Centre, Wale Anifowose, said the initiative is a platform that brings together Small and Medium scale Enterprises and large companies to network, start relationships and create opportunities.

“The main goal of Market Access Nigeria is to facilitate market access for SMEs by keying them into the value chain of large organisations, bridging the gap, and enabling local content development and participation in various sectors of the Nigerian economy”, he said.

Also speaking at the event, Head, Enterprise Sales, Etisalat Nigeria, Akinwumi Olayiwola, disclosed that Etisalat has been supporting Market Access for over four years while the forum has been taken round the country. “The key objective of the Lagos edition of Market Access is to offer SMEs a platform to build capacity, develop skills and build bridges between businesses thereby enabling successful business operations”, he said.

In order to boost the sector, he revealed that the company had launched SME Arena, an innovative web portal which offers startups a platform to collaborate, network and connect with other businesses. According to him, “Businesses can be listed on the SME Arena platform, interact with consumers, share with other businesses and get feedback from consumers.”

The theme of the Market Access forum was “Accelerating SME Growth through Access to Market”.