John Shiklam in Kaduna
Stanbic IBTC Bank and technology company, Google has trained operators of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Kaduna state on digital skills that will transform their businesses.
The training, according to the Head, SME Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Obinnia Ukachukwu, in a statement in Kaduna, is part of the continuation of the collaboration which the bank and Google sealed earlier.
He said the training was designed to empower the youths and operators in the SME segment in Nigeria.
The training, which held at the Kaduna Business School exposed participants to such areas as ePayment and online banking, digital marketing and the use of digital platforms for sustainable business growth as well as hiring and retaining third parties.
Ukachukwu added that the objectives of the partnership between the bank and Google is to organise capacity building sessions across the country with the aimed of building a critical mass of businesses through increased adoption of digital technology.
This, he stressed, will subsequently enhance the contribution of small business operators to economic development.
According to him, participants will derive game-changing benefits by adopting new approaches to business, especially as the deployment of technological innovation has the capacity to boost efficiency and reduce costs, enhance better understanding of customers and their needs as well as increase revenue and even create an entirely new customer base or market.
“The SME segment is pivotal to the economic growth and development of any nation. Our commitment to the growth of the SME segment has over the years been demonstrated through the various digital banking products and support from Stanbic IBTC Bank’s stable.
“We have launched an internet banking offering specifically for SMEs as well as SME BizDirect, a personalized digital banking platform,” he stated.
Also, Head of Digital Education, Google Africa, Bunmi Banjo, said the capacity building session aims to digitally empower about 1000 SMEs in Nigeria in one year.
It also entails further trainings focused on general digital skills for proprietors of SMEs who are between 18 and 35 years of age.
“This is a project we are very enthusiastic about. With almost 100 million online subscribers, Nigeria continues to be one of the highest online populations in the world” she said.
This, according to her, presents big opportunities for the small and medium business sector.
“We believe that when these SMEs have the right digital skills, they can better leverage the Internet to grow their businesses, create more jobs and boost economic growth in Nigeria” she added.