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NASME Women Lagos Chapter Celebrates International Women’s Day 2019



The Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises is the apex Business membership organization (BMO) in Nigeria that was established to co-ordinate the promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises.

All around the world, gender equality advocates are spearheading a discussion around this year’s theme, #balanceforbetter, pressing for a more gender-balanced government participation, workplace and economic empowerment. Different organisations, associations and groups create awareness for a world where women will have equal rights with their male counterparts. NASME Women (Lagos Chapter) was not left out in this year’s celebration as they organised a two day event in honor of the women’s day which took place on the 7th and 11th of March, 2019.

To flag off this year’s women’s day, NASME Women (Lagos chapter) in collaboration with the Association of Nigeria Women Business Network (ANWBN) organized a walk which took place on the 7th of March in all 36 states of the federation simultaneously.

The Women Leader, NASME Lagos, Otunba Gbemi Oduntan, in her speech highlighted the different ways women are striving hard to deliver beyond expectations in all that they do and how they are not equivalently recognized yet for their efforts. She pointed out that the Theme for this year IWD; ‘Balance for Better’ is so apt in demanding an equitable recognition in reward, remuneration and acceptance in all that the womenfolk do, starting from inclusion of Women in the NASME National Council and other Local and National official positions of Service and Leadership across the country.

In her International Women’s Day message, Dr Jumoke Kassim, the PRO of NASME Women listed their focus for this year’s celebration.  She pointed out the fact that women have to work extra, balancing the home front with the office work, just for them to be recognised. She also spoke on the seven point’s agenda charter bill as presented by the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network to the government which includes but not limited to:

  • 40% Inclusion of women in government.
  • Resolving issues of multiple taxation.
  • Patronage of made in Nigeria goods.
  • Ease of access to funds for all women.
  • Implementation of government policies for women in government amongst others.

Day two of the event was tagged “Gender Balance Drives a Better World”. The event was graced by lots of important personals from all works of life including government officials. Mrs. Funmilayo Ibrahim, Dir. Of Cooperatives, represented the Commisssioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperative; Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, while Mrs. Funmi Blaize, Dir. Of Admin & Human Resources represented the Commissioner for Women & Poverty Alleviation- Mrs. Lola Akande. Mrs. Seriki Bello , Dir. Of Employment, Min of Wealth Creation represented the Commissioner; Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf.

Mr. Solomon Aderoju, the chairman of NASME (Lagos chapter) during his speech as read by Mrs. Victoria Oluwasanya, the Vice President of NASME Lagos pointed out that there is need for better life for women in the society due to their huge contribution to the development and growth in the society. He also said that every woman needs empowerment, care and respect for a better balanced world.

The National President NASME, Prince Degun Adeagbo, in his speech extols the importance and contribution of women to nation building through governance at the Federal and State level, and the micro and macro-economy of the country, especially through various micro and small businesses & manufacturing by the women Team and of course at the home front.

Mrs. Funmilayo Ibrahim, Dir. Of Cooperatives, represented the Commisssioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperative.


Speaking on the first topic, “Let’s Build a Gender Balanced World”. Guest Speaker, Captain Mrs. Bolaji Agbelusi said that Nigeria is really doing well in gender balancing. According to her, in some developed countries, women are still being discriminated in the workplace. They do not receive the same salary as their male counterparts. She connected it to the Nigeria Aviation Industry where there is equal opportunities and expectations for both gender.  Women are now in management positions and they are really doing well.

To further buttress her points, she listed out why the society needs to make gender parity, a priority. This is because a meaningful inclusion of women in decision making will bring effectiveness and productivity in the society. Also, women are good decision makers and great marketers.

According to a survey carried out on about 4,000 companies, which says that companies with women on their board and strategic positions makes as much as 36.5% more profit than those without women.

She ended by saying that until Nigeria create a gender balanced society, she will not improve because women have natural calling for birthing not only physical lives but lives into whatever they do.

Speaking on the second topic “Gender Balance Drives a Better Working World”. Mrs Funke Egbemode (MD, New Telegraph Newspaper) contradicted the popular opinion that says that women are being discriminated against by men. She said it is nature and the responsibility to keep the world moving that limits women. If they don’t take time off to make babies, the world will come to a halt and they will be failing God.

According to her, why gender balance drives a better working world is because of the strength a woman brings into whatever she does. There are several positive changes that take place when a woman gets into the system. Women are good multi-taskers, in terms of balancing both work and home front. They are good communicators too. When the issue of gender inequality is addressed, we will surely have a better working world.

The third and last Guest Speaker Mrs. Oluwaseun Adesoye (Group Executive, TrustBanc Group) talked on “Positioning Yourself for Balance”. She pointed out that it does not stop at chanting for more gender balanced world; rather the questions should be whether they are ready to pay the price that comes with it.  Have they acquired the right skills that will put them in better positioning that will make them key into the balanced world?  She encouraged them to be consistent in whatever they do and to always know that their first responsibility is to themselves.

It was indeed a rewarding experience for all the women in attendance who have been empowered to keep impacting positively on the society.


More images from the event (Cross section of Guests and Speakers)





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CEO Corner

African Bank Appoints Kennedy Bungane, CEO



African Bank New CEO, Kennedy Bungane (Press Release & Image: African Bank)

African Bank (“Board”) announces the appointment of Mr. Kennedy Bungane as the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and as an executive director of the Bank and its holding company, African Bank Holdings Limited (“ABH”) effective 14 April 2021. The Bank confirms that the appointment of Kennedy was done in accordance with African Bank’s policy on the selection and nomination of executive directors, and in order to fill a vacancy as well as add to the skillset on the Board.

Kennedy brings over 20 years of banking experience with him, having started his career at Standard Bank in 1991, holding a number of senior positions, including Head of Global Markets Sales, Head of Institutional and Corporate Banking, CEO Corporate and Investment Banking for Standard Bank South Africa, and a member of the Standard Bank Group Executive Committee. After joining Barclays Africa in 2012 as Chief Executive of Barclays Africa Limited and Head of Absa Group strategy, Kennedy led the sale of Barclays Africa Limited to the ABSA Group. More recently, Kennedy headed up the Phembani Group as its CEO. He also brings investment and strategic experience gained as the founder and chairman of Nokeng Telecoms and chairman of Idwala Capital.

Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Master of Business Administration, and completed the advanced management program at the Harvard Business School (USA).

Commenting on Kennedy’s appointment, the Chairman of the Board, Thabo Dloti, stated, “We welcome the appointment of Kennedy as the new permanent CEO. Kennedy has a keen sense for managing complex stakeholder issues. He has a proven track record in identifying and nurturing leadership, which promotes strong teams to deliver successful results. His passion for the role that banking can play in transforming society resonated strongly with the Board.

As an experienced banker, he also critically has a good grasp of the strategic challenges facing the Bank, within a muted South African economy and competitive landscape, as well as the required regulatory and governance framework.

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Platform Capital invests in USA-based innovative peer-to-peer financing platform SoLo Funds



Platform Capital Chairman, Dr. Akintoye Akindele and Rodney Williams, Co-Founder of SoLo Funds Inc. (Image & Press Release: Platform Capital)

Platform Capital (“Platform”), a leading growth markets investor, is pleased to announce its investment in and partnership with SoLo Funds Inc. (“SoLo”), an innovative and proprietary peer-to-peer financing platform based in USA that has revolutionised the access to and supply of short-term funds for individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses.

Twenty-five percent of Americans are unbanked or underbanked, whilst 80% of American workers live paycheck to paycheck, and don’t have adequate savings to cover unforeseen expenses. In addition, implicit and explicit biases mean that women and people of colour are three times more likely to see their credit applications rejected. As a result, they are left with no other options, and fall prey to payday lenders, where a small loan can accrue over 400% APR, trapping them in a cycle of debt.

SoLo replaces payday lenders with a community-based, market-driven model for access to short-term funds for individuals. Through its community, individuals are able to access funds ranging from $50 to $1,000 for up to 2 weeks, that are delivered within hours through a simple and non-approval sign-up process powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. The platform connects users directly and determines a SoLo score based on ability to repay, spending habits, payment frequency, behavioural data, and location-based data. There are no fees or compounding interest paid to SoLo or the member of the community providing the funds, avoiding the debt trap that is common in traditional short-term lending.

Since launch in 2018, the SoLo community has grown to over 300,000 users. The company has seen significant adoption of its model in states with large populations and high cost of living. Over the past 12 months, SoLo’s community has experienced more than 2,000% growth, introduced a new product feature “lender protection service” that safeguards the financed amount in case of a default, and has partnered with Kiva to enable access to funds for entrepreneurs and business owners ranging from $1,000 to $15,000.

SoLo Funds mission is to replace payday lenders with a community-based, market-driven model for individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses to access financing. The company has raised $10 million lead by international investors including ACME Capital, Impact America Fund, Techstars, Endeavor Catalyst, and CEAS Investments to further develop its technology, scale its team, and expand across the USA.

Dr. Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of Platform Capital, joins the Board as an observer & adviser.

Rodney Williams, Co-Founder of SoLo Funds Inc., said “We’re excited about our partnership with Platform Capital, we look forward to expanding our services into Africa. This partnership enables us to achieve our vision of being the number one access to funds provider for people and businesses in need. We believe that our platform will certainly impact and change conversation in Africa around how businesses and individuals can access funds.”

Dr. Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of Platform Capital, said: “We are proud to partner with SoLo Funds. Access to funds is a problem that affects millions of people globally. We believe that SoLo’s alternative approach to laccessing funds will impact millions of lives and position them as an innovative disruptor in the funding space. We look forward to working with SoLo Funds to scale their innovative solutions to positively impact people’s lives.”



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Hospitality & Tourism

Radisson Hotel Group announces its arrival at Victoria Falls, an UNESCO world heritage site



Radisson Hotel Group (Image source: Saadiyah Hendricks)

Radisson Hotel Group is proud to announce its first resort and third hotel in Zambia, with the signing of Radisson Blu Resort Mosi-oa-Tunya, Livingstone, Zambia. Due to open by the end of 2022, this new addition places the Group firmly on track to achieving its objective of reaching 150 hotels in operation and under development in Africa by 2025.

Nestled on the banks of one of Africa’s longest rivers, the Zambezi, in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, 5km south of the historic city of Livingstone, just 4km north west of the Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and an UNESCO world heritage site. Convenience is amplified with Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport located just 15 minutes away.

For an immersive experience of the destination, situated right next door, is Safari Par Excellence, offering unique on and off the river adventure activities, from Victoria Falls bridge activities, water-rafting, canoeing and game drives to helicopter rides, river cruises and elephant encounters.

The hotel will be constructed and operated with the greatest respect to its close proximity of the natural wonders and aims to obtain the EDGE green building certification as well sign the UNESCO Sustainable Tourism Pledge, becoming a best practice in the implementation of Radisson Hotel Group’s leading Responsible Business program.

Image source: Saadiyah Hendricks

The construction of the new hotel which is currently underway, and the design fully integrate local materials and focuses on employing and upskilling local craftspeople. It will consist of a contemporary 174-room main hotel and 26 luxurious villas. Guests can indulge in their favourite cuisine at the all-day dining restaurant and sit back with their favourite drink at the coffee bar. To bask in the fresh African evening air in comfort, guests can gather around the outdoor boma and firepit. During their stay, guests can also enjoy the hotel’s expansive swimming pool, find serenity at the spa or maintain their health at the sports and fitness gym. Ideal for all occasions, the hotel’s meetings and events facilities will include a ballroom of over 500sqm, boardrooms as well as meeting rooms, perfect for leisure and business use.

Ramsay Rankoussi, Vice President Development, Africa & Turkey, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We have been present in Zambia for many years and have long recognized the potential of the country. It was essential for us to complement our presence in Zambia with a resort offering in one of Africa’s most visited leisure tourism destinations – the Victoria Falls. This marks our third hotel in the country, complementing our existing portfolio of one hotel in operation, Radisson Blu Hotel, Lusaka, and the under-development Park Inn by Radisson Lusaka, Longacres, due to open early next year. Through this unique resort, we look forward to demonstrating our strong Responsible Business heritage and sustainable programmes and initiatives which will further promote the destination and ensure the preservation of this unique reserve and location. We are truly proud to have partnered with NAPSA for the launch of the Radisson Blu Resort Mosi-oa-Tunya, Livingstone as we further seek to reinforce our collaboration in promoting tourism across Zambia.”

Mr. Yollard Kachinda, Director General  of NAPSA, the owning company said: “It is an honour to be partnering with Radisson Hotel Group, a company that believes in thriving, sustainable, and responsible business that supports people, communities and the planet with various procedures and programs to build better futures. We are proud to be associated with the creation of several jobs, both directly and indirectly. It is also satisfying to note that most of the materials are locally sourced, such as steel coming from Kafue Steel, timber coming from Zambezi Sawmills and other materials such as quarry and stones also being sourced within the community. We are looking forward to introducing this unique resort to the market and are confident that the various sustainable elements of the hotel will uplift the community and enhance the overall experience of this beautiful destination and its economy.”

Image source: Saadiyah Hendricks

Radisson Hotel Group operates to high standards of performance and advocates socially and environmentally sustainable business practices. More than ever, Radisson Hotel Group’s highest priorities remain the health and safety of its guests and employees. The Group partnered with SGS, the world’s leading inspection and certification company, to implement the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, which ensures the highest hygiene standards and strengthens the Group’s existing rigorous sanitation guidelines. In the run-up to the opening of Radisson Blu Resort Mosi-oa-Tunya, Livingstone, Zambia will implement the Radisson Hotel Group brand standards including the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol related to safety and security.



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