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MTN Nigeria Unveils 200 MSMEs for Accelerator Program

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MTN Nigeria Unveils 200 MSMEs for Accelerator Program, SiliconNigeria

MTN Nigeria has selected 200 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across Nigeria to benefit from an accelerator programme, Y’ello 200, in continuation of The Revv Programme.

The initiative was launched to address the critical needs of MSMEs as well as to mitigate against the effects of COVID-19 on their businesses.

 Adopting a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives, the programme also seeks to address issues in the areas of re-igniting the economy by driving digital inclusion for SMEs.

To further this cause, 200 top-performing MSMEs have been selected from participants in The Revv Masterclasses to undergo further upskilling. The Y’ello 200 was unveiled at the closing ceremony of The Revv Programme which held virtually on Monday, December 14, 2020.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Nigeria, congratulated the selected MSMEs. She said, “These 200 MSMEs were selected based on their performance and polls during the masterclasses.

With MSMEs accounting for 94% of all businesses in Nigeria and 84% of employment, it is a known fact that when MSMEs thrive, the economy thrives. Our goal is to empower MSMEs with the tools to make them thrive in today’s digital economy. The Revv Programme has not ended but enters into its next phase”, she added.

In his keynote address, the Chairman of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Otunba Femi Pedro, congratulated the MSMEs. “Let me sincerely congratulate members of the Y’ello 200 on your perseverance, your quest for knowledge and staying the course during this programme. It is our desire that the knowledge gained will position your business to be stronger and better in the coming years.

Once again, I thank MTN for this laudable initiative. We also use this opportunity to charge this great company that much more is expected to thoroughly empower the millions of MSMEs in Nigeria”, the Chairman concluded.

A recipient, Bolarinwa Yekeen, owner of Nile Delivery Services from Kaduna shared his appreciation. “On behalf of myself and other beneficiaries, I want to sincerely thank MTN for the insighting and eye opening masterclasses that we attended. I want to say a very big thank you for all the wonderful experiences.”

The Y’ello 200 will enjoy exclusive access to a broad range of technology and productivity tools and services absolutely free, for a period of six months. They will also be supported with access to market and advisory initiatives. The Revv Programme is a give back initiative targeted at MSMEs and will now be held annually.

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MTN, Facebook Begin Digital Marketing Training for SMEs

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MTN Facebook Begin Digital Marketing Training for SMEs, SiliconNigeria

MTN Nigeria has commenced partnership with global social networking giant, Facebook to deliver digital marketing training to SMEs under MTN’s first accelerator programme, Y’ello 200.

 The accelerator programme is a culmination of The Revv Programme, an initiative by MTN launched in August last year, to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives, The Revv Programme seeks to help SMEs relearn, rethink and retool their businesses for growth in the emerging digital economy. MTN executives along with industry experts delivered the masterclasses, focusing on various areas of business management. Following five months of intensive training delivered to over 24,000 registered SMEs, 200 SMEs were selected for the Y’ello 200 Accelerator Programme. The 200 top-performing SMEs from the sessions will enjoy exclusive access to a broad range of technology and productivity tools and services free for a period of six months.

The digital marketing training by Facebook is the initial phase of the accelerator programme and will run for six weeks. The virtual training sessions kicked off on Thursday, January 21, 2020 with a session titled “Get Creative with Your Mobile Phone”. Subsequent sessions will train the SME owners on creative ways to scale their businesses and attract customers using social media.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Revv masterclasses, Modupe Kadri, Chief Financial Officer, MTN Nigeria, outlined some of the benefits of the Y’ello 200 Accelerator Programme. “The masterclasses are just the first phase. In the next phase, our goal is to ensure digital inclusion for all the businesses that are part of the Y’ello 200. This entails making sure that these businesses are present and active on all the relevant digital platforms, making them visible and digitally accessible.”

“We will handhold each of them through the process and provide all the services required to be fully digitally included. This covers communication services such as voice and data, cloud services and virtual machines to enable round the clock availability of all their services. Digital marketing platforms offered by MTN will be accessible to them to increase their access to new markets,” he concluded.

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TradeDepot Highlights Top Trends For Nigeria’s Retail Sector in 2021

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TradeDepot Highlights Top Trends For Nigeria’s Retail Sector in 2021, SiliconNigeria

TradeDepot, the B2B eCommerce platform for consumer goods in Africa, has today released new insights from its market data that highlights the trends that will shape Nigeria’s retail sector in 2021. 

According to TradeDepot, the impact of the pandemic, rising inflation, border closures and other issues drove significant changes in behaviour for retailers, distributors and manufacturers in 2020. As the sector settles into the new year, TradeDepot predicts that some of the main trends that shaped 2020 – particularly smaller packaging for consumer goods and increased spending on food and essential goods due to dwindling disposable income and people spending more time at home – will continue to influence behaviour across the market.

The retail sector is the third largest contributor to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and more than 90 percent of the sector is made up of informal retailers. TradeDepot has built a network of more than 50,000 micro retailers, working with global distributors and manufacturers like Nestlé, Unilever, GB Foods and Danone to make household supplies such as milk, soap, detergent and other essentials more accessible and affordable. The top insights from TradeDepot’s data include:

Key trends from 2020

  • Across the retail sector, the pandemic led to an increase in store owners exploring alternative channels of reaching, acquiring and servicing customers – especially online and social media. Demand for TradeDepot’s services increased by 500%, with a 300% increase in transaction value and volume on the back of the pandemic.
  • Consumer buying patterns shifted slightly towards more food items, with growth in purchase of food and essentials as opposed to other categories. TradeDepot’s data revealed a 10% increase in the overall contribution of food items to the distribution volumes, compared with 2019.
  • In the drinks category, the lockdown impacted the ability of manufacturers and distributors to sell into bars, restaurants and clubs, which usually account for up to 60% of their revenue. As a result, many shifted their attention to Mom and Pop, convenience stores etc to cushion the impact
  • In the detergent category, price increases driven by inflation led many manufacturers to either introduce or expand production capacity for smaller packs (25g, 90g, 190g, etc) to drive more volume in the consumer segment of the market, which accounts for 65% of the market. The pandemic also saw the introduction of more hygiene-related products to help curtail the spread of the virus

What do these trends mean for the Nigerian retail sector in 2021

  • We foresee manufacturers adapting to rising inflation and dwindling disposable income by extending the trend of smaller packs to other product categories 
  • Manufacturers will explore more alternative route-to-market channels with capabilities to build retail networks and offer logistics-as-a-service to mitigate the risks that come with serving new customer bases
  • We expect an increase in the number of challenger value brands and new market entrants offering lower priced products in key categories as consumers get increasingly price conscious and more eager to experiment with new, lower-priced products.
  • We also anticipate a rise in products and services designed to help consolidate and improve the industry. There could be more competition higher up in the value chain with more platforms designed to provide auxiliary services like goods packaging and processing etc.
  • With the pandemic still ongoing, we envisage that people will continue to take a cautious approach to mingling in crowds and will spend more time at home than in previous years, As a result, spending on food and essential goods is likely to increase

Challenges and opportunities for 2021

  • There are challenges with data aggregation because it is a relatively new discipline in this space but so there’s an opportunity for companies with the right capabilities to capture this and utilise it to cater to the audience. Structured access to short term inventory financing at minimal interest rates will also help stimulate growth
  • There are also challenges with infrastructure and logistics, which makes it difficult for store owners to meet the demands of the customers and grow their businesses.
  • Access to working capital is still the biggest challenge most retailers face in trying to grow their business. There has been some progress with financial services for consumers in recent years and there is potential for many of the learnings to be adapted for retailers.

According to Onyekachi Izukanne, CEO and Co-Founder of TradeDepot, “the retail sector is one of the strongest pillars of the Nigerian economy but the absence of data and verifiable insight often makes it difficult to assess the opportunities and challenges that abound in the space. The sector is also hampered by infrastructure and logistics issues that undermine the efforts of the industrious business owners. With some more support from government, public institutions and private sector players, there is the potential to transform the Nigerian retail market and achieve a quick win for boosting the nation’s GDP”.

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MTN Announces 200 MSMEs for Accelerator Programme

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MTN Announces 200 MSMEs for Accelerator Programme, SiliconNigeria

The advent of COVID-19 at the beginning of this year and the subsequent nation-wide lockdown took the business world by surprise. Several MSMEs were forced to shut down with millions of people losing their jobs.

The pandemic resulted in a need for MSMEs to function virtually to stay afloat, viable and competitive. However, the exclusionary nature of the Nigerian digital space made it challenging for several MSMEs to access the tools and platforms needed to facilitate business activities.

In August 2020, MTN introduced The Revv Programme to provide 10,000 MSMEs with masterclasses, advisory services, productivity support and access to new markets. Following the completion of the programme this month, a  virtual closing ceremony held on Monday, December 14.

The Chief Enterprise and Business Officer, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, who presented the welcome address on behalf of the CEO stated, “When MSMEs thrive, the economy thrives. Our goal is to empower MSMEs in today’s digital economy.” She also revealed that the response from the public to register exceeded expectations. “We set a goal to train 10,000 MSMEs. 24,000 businesses registered for the Revv programme.”  

The Chairman of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Chief Femi Pedro, delivering the keynote address, spoke to his interest in MSMEs and the efforts at SMEDAN.

“We have 1.7 million MSMEs registered on the SMEDAN platform and it is our wish that the knowledge gained as well as the opportunity to obtain grants from the government, will position businesses for better in the coming years.”

He thanked MTN for its contribution towards enabling MSMEs access the tools they need in today’s digital economy and implored the company to continue in its efforts on MSMEs.

The closing ceremony featured the recognition of the Y’ello 200, MSMEs selected from the Revv programme which MTN would empower with tools and awareness creation opportunities through exclusive access to a range of technology-enabled, productivity tools and services for six months.

Representatives from the Y’ello 200  expressed gratitude to MTN for the Revv Programme. A representative of Glisten International Academy, an educational institute based in Abuja who was announced as one of the Y’ello 200 said, “This programme has been enlightening and engaging. We thank MTN for putting this together.” 

Modupe Kadri, Chief Financial Officer, MTN Nigeria, in his congratulatory message to the Y’ello 200 assured them of MTN’s commitment towards supporting their businesses. “We will provide you with services and support  for your digital needs,” he said

Mr Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director, Bank of Industry gave the appreciatory remarks to panellists and contributors. “Supporting the growth of SMEs is one of the things MTN and BOI have in common. Thank you MTN for bringing your knowledge and industry to the masterclasses. BOI is always willing to partner to support SME growth.”

The closing remarks were given by Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka, General Manager, Enterprise Marketing, MTN Nigeria. “We are excited by the success of The Revv programme and I have the honour to announce that this will now be a yearly initiative that is to become a part of MTN Nigeria’s value proposition to MSMEs.” She thanked all stakeholders including the Nigerian government, the facilitators of the masterclasses, MTN’s partners and the participants.

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