Stanbic IBTC Bank, a member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, and LEAP Africa, a leadership development non-profit organization, are partnering to organize the 11th edition of the CEOs Forum, with a focus on how small businesses can attract funding for sustainable growth.
The CEOs Forum, which was initiated in 2005, brings together local and international speakers for knowledge sharing with entrepreneurs on building sustainable local businesses. The event is targeted at SME founders, captains of industry, private and public sector leaders as well as CEOs drawn from different sectors of the economy. The forum is currently organized as an annual event within the SME space.
With the theme, “Attracting financing for your business: strategies and opportunities,” the forum is slated for Lagos on June 2, 2016, and will attract eminent speakers from different sectors of the economy, including Bismarck Rewane, CEO, Financial Derivatives Company Ltd; Yewande Sadiku, Executive Director, Stanbic IBTC Bank; and Tayo Oviosu, Founder/CEO, Paga Technology.
Mr. Yinka Sanni, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, welcomed the collaboration, which he said is in line with Stanbic IBTC Bank’s commitment to helping Nigeria attain her developmental aspirations, while delivering long-term value to customers, partners, businesses, professionals and the economy at large.
“We value this partnership with LEAP Africa, especially as the focus of this year’s forum resonates well with our own goal of building a new cadre of leadership among business leaders in Nigeria and Africa,” Yinka Sanni stated.
He said the spotlight on the SME segment could not have come at a better time as efforts to diversify the country’s economy intensify. “SMEs constitute the pivot of the economy. We have consistently demonstrated our commitment to the development of the sector. However, SMEs should realise that attracting financing and ensuring sustainability is only guaranteed by planning, delivery and profitability, and we remain committed to supporting them in this regard,” he added.
Executive Director, LEAP Africa, Mrs. Iyadunni Olubode, said underlining this year’s theme is the recognition that many Nigerian entrepreneurs struggle with sourcing funding due to both internal and external challenges. However, successful business development requires additional sources of capital to support growth and enable strategic investments. LEAP Africa, she said, is available to help business owners gain deeper insight and acquire the relevant skills in entrepreneurship and business.
“Among others, the 11th CEOs forum seeks to expose entrepreneurs to the breadth of financing options available in the African context, including angel investors, venture capital, private equity, challenge funds, development financing and the stock market. The forum will also equip emerging entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and tools to enhance their business readiness to attract financing and effectively manage investor relationships,” Olubode said.
In line with the theme, the event will hold in three stages, namely the ‘CEOs’ Forum’, the ‘Investment-Readiness Workshop’ and the ‘Business Connect Cocktail’ for investors and emerging entrepreneurs.
Established as a non-profit organization in 2002, Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Professionalism (LEAP) Africa has been committed to developing business leaders and supporting them with the knowledge and skills to ensure businesses continue to thrive into their second and third generations. LEAP contributes to the sustainability of Nigerian SMEs through published business books which reflect local context, training programmes and an annual CEOs Forum targeted at founders of SMEs.