The first SME Toolkit conference in Nigeria took place on the 24th of November, 2010 at Terrakulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. The purpose of the conference was to bring together Trainers, Users, Experts, Contents and Service providers to redefine and set a new agenda on how the toolkit can impact even more on the SME sector in Nigeria. About 250 participants attended the conference from 10 countries around Africa and beyond.
Like the toolkit, the conference was highly interactive with the theme ‘Harvesting Innovation in Small Business Solutions’.
The Director of Enterprise Development Centre, Peter Bamkole set the tone by moderating the first track, during which he and the audience challenged the trio of Sunday Ojuolape, Bosun Tijani and Mayowa Owolabi on how mobile and web solutions can be developed and deployed around the SME Toolkit especially to help solve business problems.
Charlotte Ashamu, IFC South Africa moderated the second track that focused on how corporate partnerships can promote the growth of the SME sector. The diverse panel consisting of Chidinma Lawanson (Diamond Bank Plc), Tolu Akindele (Grofin), Mário Gomez (IFC Mozambique) and Lola Masha (Google Nigeria) brought depth and new insights into SME partnerships. Although the issue of funding got a lot of attention, it was obvious that SME development goes beyond funding and the panel exposed some of these possibilities.
Kate Iketubosin (A certified BE Trainer) moderated the last track that focused on the Business Edge (a training methodology developed by IFC). Again, this session was quite engaging as those who have attended or trained with this methodology shared their experiences. In a classic BE methodology, group discussions took place by table and outcomes of those discussions are being collated. These will form the basis for future improvement of the SME Toolkit in Nigeria, the directions and customer expectation.
The conference ended with an award ceremony in three categories:
1. Saidat Shonoiki and Bosun Solarin were jointly recognized as active users of the SME Toolkit Nigeria. While Saidat used the business plan template for a competition organized by the Abuja Enterprises and won the 1st prize of N1million, Bosun used the Business Plan template as the road map for her laundry business.
2. Martin Udogie, was recognized as the most consistent content provider on the toolkit. He has consistently featured the Goldman Sachs 10,000 women on the SME Toolkit.
3. Bukola Shonibare as the most dynamic SME Toolkit training partner. She developed a 3-day workshop on HR using the SME Toolkit apart from using it for needs assessment.
Many thanks to everyone that made the conference a success especially users that came from all the geo-political zones in Nigeria. We were indeed happy to connect with you beyond the “online connection”. For those that couldn’t make the conference because of limited space, we have put together some video clips and pictures. We certainly hope you’ll have the opportunity of joining us next time.
Click here to view the conference pictures
Click video to watch the event.