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Expert urges organisations, financial institutions to step up entrepreneurial empowerment

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Corporate organisations and Financial institutions have been urged to focus more on empowering startups to enable them overcome the challenges faced in the ideation stage and ultimately creating successful business entities.
 
A Financial Technology (fintech) expert and Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), Daniel Awe said financial institutions in recent times, focus more on assisting already established entrepreneurs.
 
He pointed out that launching a startup comes with enormous challenges which ultimately turn to a rewarding proposition when properly tackled.
 

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According to him, thousands of startups are founded on a daily basis, but a handful of them get converted into successful business outfits.
 
Awe said AFF is committed to empowering startups with resources and plugins to Access Banks’ customer base to ensure the startups are equipped to scale their businesses.
 
Speaking in an accelerator programme organised by Access Bank Plc, Awe said the firm guides and actively support budding entrepreneurs from ideation stage to becoming a sustainable company that creates value for its customers while maximising its profitability.
 
According to him, the company invests in high potential entrepreneurs through their accelerator programme for a longer-term engagement that would create a sustainable business venture.
 
He pointed out that many start-ups have ideas but do not know how to make them a reality.
 
He said the company’s accelerator programme  helps entrepreneurs  to figure out a strategy that will help  discover the potential of their startup. He pointed out that the focus of the firm is to maximise the potentials of the start ups while minimising time, effort and costs.
 
He said: “If a startup has an idea and you throw it into a market of 42 million customers, the growth is going to be faster. So, it is using the entire ecosystem of our group to build the future of the country.”

“In the next 10 year we see these startups becoming unicorn’s worth over $100 million and a season is coming where we would see these startups becoming the next drivers of our economy.”
 

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On funding available for the startups, he said: “Funding is based on ideas and  what would be required to move the idea forward. We have a commitment of about N10 million. When they come into the accelerator programme, we select top three while  others are handed over to  investors.”
 
“This initiative would have a direct impact on the economy because it is targeted at the medium scale businesses and these are the businesses that can change economies in terms of reducing employment rate at the socioeconomic levels.”
 
Also speaking at the event, the Head, Retail Product Insight and Capabilities, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Rob Giles said: “We are looking for companies with ideas that can solve real world problems. We provide a conducive environment where startups can be supported, nurtured, advised and get acces to people who are further ahead on  their journey like mentors.”
 
“We have seen three companies that can go all the way and our job is to make sure they stay the course and structure their foundations from the very beginning that would allow them to scale through.”
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