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Facebook Launches Africa’s First SME Council in Nigeria

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Mark Zuckerberg
  • Facebook Launches Africa’s First SME Council in Nigeria

As part of ongoing commitment to help support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout Africa, Facebook has launched its Nigerian SME Council, the first on the continent, designed to boost SME development in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

Through the Nigerian SME Council, Facebook plans to reach out to other African counties to develop their SME ecosystem.

The Nigerian SME Council brings together Facebook Africa’s SME team and Nigerian business owners from a range of industries, in a partnership designed to provide better digital tools for business and customer growth.

The SME Council is made up of a combination 15 vibrant start-ups and established SMEs from a range of industries, and each business brings with them a wealth of unique experiences in understanding and embracing digital and mobile strategies, as well as reaching the Nigerian customer, making them ideally positioned to offer support to other companies who need it.

Speaking at the launch, Facebook’s SMB Sales Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Abi Williams, said: “Small businesses form the backbone of most of the thriving economies in the world, driving sustainable growth and creating jobs, and those in Nigeria are no different. Facebook is strategically positioned to help SME’s grow their businesses, and with a vibrant SME sector, Nigeria is a natural choice in launching our very first SME Council on the African continent. With 35 million people in other countries connected to a Nigerian business on Facebook, the global market has never been closer for Nigerian SMEs.”

Most of the SMEs Council members present at the launch, testified how Facebook as a social media platform, has helped in growing their businesses and giving their businesses unprecedented exposures.

One of the SMEs Council members cum Head of Innovation and Marketing at GIG Group, Mr. Ifeanyi Azubike, said that the launch of the Council would boost SME growth through funding and other relevant assistance. According to him, “It is difficult for government to support SME funding because there is no pull of money anywhere that was set aside by government for SME development. The SME Council is therefore a good initiative that will boost the growth of SME ecosystem in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. For example, we have over 9 million Nigerians that visit Facebook on a daily basis and majority of the 9 million Nigerians are SMEs that need financial support and mentorship, which I think the SME Council will be of immense help to address their challenges.”

The Nigerian SME Council is made up of 15 small-to-medium sized business owners in varying sectors and locations across Nigeria, including Lagos, Abuja, Enugu and Kano. The Council joins 10 SME Councils across the globe, including North America, Ireland, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Poland, India and Brazil.! and the Council members are expected to meet a minimum of twice a year with Facebook and Instagram teams to discuss successes and challenges, business ideas and solutions.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market.

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Jeff Bezos Sets a New Record as Net Worth Hits $172bn

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Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos Breaks His Own Record, Now Worth $172bn

Jeff Bezos, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Amazon Inc, on Wednesday broke his own record to set a new all-time record of $172 billion net worth.

Bezos’s previous record was $167.7 billion attained in September 2018. However, the billionaire broke the record on Wednesday after Amazon shares gained 4.4 percent to close at $2,878.80 per share.

Jeff Bezos companies

This is despite the billionaire parting with 19.7 million Amazon shares in July 2019 as part of his divorce settlement to his wife, Mackenzie Bezos.

Mackenzie Bezos’s 19.7 million shares now worth around $56.9 billion, making her the second richest woman and the thirteenth richest person in the world.

Jeff Bezos’s net worth has now risen by $57.4 billion from the year-to-date, according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Jeff bezos Net worth

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Opay Pauses Some Business Operations as COVID-19 Bites

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Opay halts business units

OPay Halts Some Business Units Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Opay, a seamless mobile money service provider, has announced it would be putting some of its business units on hold as COVID-19 pandemic bites.

In a statement released by the Chinese owned mobile money start-up on its official twitter page @OPay_NG, the company said “We can confirm that some of our business units including the ride-hailing services, ORide, OCar as well as our logistics service OExpress will be put on pause.”

This, it said was largely due to the tough business environment brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown and government ban of motorbikes in Lagos.

The statement read “Globally, ride-sharing businesses have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. But several months ago, foreseeing this issue, OPay had already taken preemptive steps to restructure our business focus away from rides. It is worth to note that this final restructuring has minimal impact on OPay as a whole business.”

“It is important to clarify that ride-sharing had always been only one part, and not a major part of OPay’s diversified business in Nigeria. In fact, OPay had been investing more and seeing accelerated growth in its commitment to Nigeria’s financial and technology inclusion.

“During the pandemic, we have seen continued demand for our offline mobile money agency, and online digital payment, which remains the core of our business.

“From January to April 2020 for example, we witnessed a 44% growth of offline and online transaction value even in the midst of pandemic and lockdown. This is a testament to the high demand for flexible and easy financial services by Nigerians. OPay remains one of the most well-funded and profitable mobile money platforms in Nigeria, and we will continue to do more for our customers.”

Below is the company’s official statement as published on Twitter.

Opay Statement

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Facebook, Google Earn 80% of Annual Digital Ads Spend – Report

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Facebook, Google Earn 80% of the £14bn Spent on Digital Ads in 2019

A recent report from the United Kingdom’s competition watchdog has shown that Facebook and Google earned 80 percent of all the money spent by advertisers on digital platforms in 2019.

In the 440-page report, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), UK said Google and Facebook market positions are having a “profound impact” on newspapers that now receive almost 40 percent of all visits to their sites through the two platforms.

“This dependency potentially squeezes their share of digital advertising revenues, undermining their ability to produce valuable content,” the watchdog said.

This is coming two weeks after Investors King called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to protect Small and Medium businesses against Facebook and Google activities or watch the nation’s SMEs die. Investors King had posited that “Nigerian startups can not compete with Facebook and the recent tax announced by the Federal Government through the ministry of finance would not be enough to stop these giant tech companies from taking advantage of Nigeria’s young growing market.

According to the CMA report, out of the £14 billion spent on digital advertising in the United Kingdom in 2019, Google with more than 90 percent share of market search earned £7.3 billon while Facebook with more than 50 percent of display market earned £5.5 billion. Representing 80 percent of the total digital ads spent in 2019.

While the report admits that the two platforms help small businesses reach customers and are valued by users, it also said they have “developed such unassailable market positions that rivals can no longer compete on equal terms”.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive at CMA, said: “What we have found is concerning – if the market power of these firms goes unchecked, people and businesses will lose out.

“People will carry on handing over more of their personal data than necessary, a lack of competition could mean higher prices for goods and services bought online and we could all miss out on the benefits of the next innovative digital platform.

“Our clear recommendation to government is that a new pro-competitive regulatory regime be established to address the concerns we have identified and regulate a sector which is central to all our lives.”

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