Skye Bank Sierra Leone Limited has held its first Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Seminar as a means of empowering SMEs for better growth.
The Seminar which attracted business managers/CEOs across the country took place on Wednesday 15th December 2021 at Sierra Bay Hotel and Residence with the theme: Understanding SME, Opportunities and Challenges.
In his welcome remarks, Skye Bank Managing Director, Segun Obasun, pointed out that their choice of the subject SME is not random, but one that is deliberate, noting that SMEs have been accepted as the engine of economic development and growth worldwide and that they are also responsible for most of the businesses they have worldwide.
He cited the World Trade Organization (WTO) report which indicated that 90% of the businesses worldwide are SME, and that 60 to 70% of the employments generated worldwide are generated by SMEs and that SMEscontribute55% of the global GDP.
“SME is very important and it is not just a contributor to the economy but it is the economy if you look at the word itself,” he said.
He disclosed that by 2030 there will be 600 million new jobs that would be created to absorb the growing global workforce, which makes SMEs development a high priority for many governments around the world.
“SMEs development in Sierra Leone must be taken very seriously, considering that we have a very strong youth population and this population will continue to grow. We need to find a way to engage them for economic growth and social stability,” he noted.
Sky Capital Group Managing Director, Ayoku Liadi, spoke about the businesses Sky Capital have across the region.
He disclosed that the event is one of the series they have come up with and that they shall continue to make sure that Skye Bank is seen as a promoter of SMEs to become a big conglomerate.
He informed his audience that Skye Bank Sierra Leone is the best choice for them considering the value added services they have.
He called on them to work together for a better growth.
Presenting on Moderator’s overview of the SME segment in Sierra Leone, CEO of Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, James Solomon Koroma described the event as a wonderful opportunity given by the Skye Bank.
“If I should choose a bank, I will choose Skye Bank because they are teaching us how to run our businesses,”h e stated.
Managing Director Ideas Ltd, Abel T. Onomake spoke on the topic: Breaking through the odds as an entrepreneur and emphasized that in SME, you must be ready to take risk because risk defined vision without it one can never become an entrepreneur.
He outlined ten factors and characteristics in which entrepreneurship will try such as adding value from the perspective of innovation.
“Anybody who cannot take care of his money can’t take care of bank money. You own savings is the backbone of your future. Always try to find yourself a second profession. Business plan for you to grow. Divorcing the self from it and make sure your mission is guarded with objectives,” he said.
Participants interacted with management and staff of Skye Bank during and after the questions and answer session.