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Connect Nigeria Top 100 Emerging SMEs


Connect Nigeria Top 100 Emerging SMEs Gala Speech – Uzo Anekwe

Speech By Uzo Anekwe given at the Connect Nigeria Top 100 Emerging SMEs Gala.


Good day Ladies and gentlemen, please permit me to stand on already existing protocols.

I bring greetings from My MD/ CEO Mr Emeka Okafor, who is unavoidably absent, and from the Connect Nigeria family.

I must start by commending all those who participated in the top 100 emerging SMEs event, and let you know, that you are all winners.

The top 100 Emerging SME Award is part of our commitment to empowering #1million SMEs.

I greatly appreciate our benevolent sponsor union bank, and our partners British Council, LCCI, and Sawubona.

Its gladdens me to see that businesses in Nigeria, are beginning to understand the dynamics of doing business in a global economy, and are putting systems and structures in place, to be able to compete globally.

I read a book authored by the Leap Africa foundation a couple of years back, and was quite dismayed to find that Nigerian businesses do not outlive their founders, even family businesses. A few of the businesses that have stood the test of time, are owned by foreign nationals

I also realized that Nigeria despite its challenges, is a great place to do business… Yes, a great place to do business.

If it were not so, we would not have such an influx of foreign national, who come in, naturalize, start business, and pass these businesses on to their children?

The difference between what they do, and what we as the indigenous people do, is disciplining ourselves, to establish systems, and structures, that can stand the test of time.

The main reason we put together this award, is to challenge, encourage, and recognize, Nigerian Businesses, Why?

  • Challenge the status quo, so that Nigerian businesses, can begin to do business the right way
  • Encourage those who think its not possible, because we know it is possible,
  • And recognize those who are already doing things the way they should. If you are here today, you are doing a lot right

There are opportunities, for partnership, finance, investment, technical support, and government support, but this will only come to those who are well prepared.

That is what we want to achieve with the top 100 Emerging SMEs award.

By working diligently to meet the criteria we have set, businesses will grow, and be more attractive for investment, for the short and long term.

As a brand, we have decided to invest in the SMEs, because they are the future of Nigeria.

  • We have put all 100 winners online with the featured articles, which we have been publishing via our platform
  • We will also be giving 100 tables for free to all the winners of this year’s event, to come and exhibit, at Africa’s largest SME event in April 2019.
  • We are giving all winners free one-year membership of the Club connect Platform, and look forward having you enjoy al the benefits

We celebrate the top 100, and many other SMEs in Nigeria today, we know who the real drivers of the economy are,

And today, we celebrate the real heroes, of the country’s growth …. Congratulations!

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