In celebrating upcoming small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the country, Connect Nigeria Limited, in collaboration with Union Bank has released the Top 100 Emerging SMEs list.
The Top 100 Emerging SMEs initiative which was launched in February at the annual Connect Nigeria eBusiness fair for SMEs, aims to identify and celebrate some of Nigeria’s upcoming SMEs who have demonstrated laudable resilience by thriving in a challenging business environment.
At the preliminary stage of the process, over 13,000 entries were received from which 2,460 unique SME nominees that met the stringent requirements emerged.
The selection process to choose the final list of 100 emerging SMEs involved a combination of voters’ polls and an assessment of the SMEs by the consulting firm, Sawubona. This was based on criteria including innovation, scalability and business sustainability evidenced by the existence of business company registration, effective bookkeeping methods as well as branding and online presence.
Over 27,500 votes were cast in the race to select the finalists. The British Council and Lagos Chamber for Commerce and Industry (LCCI) were also part of the initiative set up to honour some of Nigeria’s top SMEs.
Speaking on the list, chief executive of Connect Nigeria, Emeka Okafor said, “Our passion is helping SMEs succeed. In addition to identifying and celebrating some of Nigeria’s top emerging SMEs, a major objective of this initiative was to demonstrate to the SMEs the need for the adoption of proper business structures and documentation in order to build bankable businesses which allows them access much needed funds for growth.”
Also commending the finalists, Union Bank’s head of retail segments, Paul Aseme said, “On behalf of Union Bank, congratulations to all the Top 100 emerging SME finalists. As a bank that has been around for over a century, Union Bank’s commitment to supporting Nigerian SMEs stems from our deep understanding of the challenges these businesses face.”
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