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June 1, 2021 Wema Bank deepens financial literacy for SMEs

Wema Bank deepens financial literacy for SMEs

For Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive, their promoters should be ready to surmount challenges of business education and registration, the Head, Legal Services of Wema Bank Plc, Mr Hilary Ajodo, has said.

Ajodo, who stated this recently during a Webinar organised by the bank to deepen financial literacy and optimisation among its customers, particularly SMEs, noted that business education and registration was essential for any serious-minded entrepreneur to avoid floundering. 

The webinar with the theme, Unbundling Tax, Legal and Compliance – Issues for SMEs, featured facilitators who shared insights on how SMEs could upscale their businesses and Wema products/services they can use. 

The webinar, one of the avenues the bank is using to deepen financial literacy and business optimisation across its stockholder universe.

Speaking on Legal Challenges Faced by SMEs, Ajodo said that for businesses to thrive, one of the first steps an entrepreneur who intends to run a business should take is to gain adequate knowledge of the business and decide on the nature of corporate entry to register.

Ajodo said that entrepreneurs must endeavour to start small by registering their businesses as an enterprise before migrating to a Limited Liability Company and finding ways of minimising expenses to maximise profit.

He advised SMEs owners not to venture into businesses they are not sure of, sign any contract without adequate information, and avoid litigation as the first step in a dispute but explore alternative settlement means. 

Ajodo added that they should get insurance for their business assets, adequately prepare for unforeseen trends by diversifying their business stream of income and being prepared for government policies that may affect any business.

Ajodo advised them to obtain loans only from legitimate sources, ensure they have a clearly stated business plan for profit maximisation, and join like-minded business associations.

He urged SMEs to avoid capital mismatch and approach Wema Bank as the best option to access business capital facility. 

Also speaking, Taiwo Oyedele, PWC highlighted the significance of sustainable evolution of businesses and regulatory dynamic for success. 

He said as an entrepreneur, you must think about how you grow your brand beyond you by keeping your eyes open for opportunities.

He further urged SMEs to ensure they acquire financial literacy and composite business intelligence as this will enhance understanding of tax obligations, regulatory compliance and contractual processes of businesses. 

Oyedele stressed the need for documentation and record-keeping of business transactions, noting that always keep your receipts and other confirmation of business relationships as evidence, and copy requisite institutions in case of litigation.

Other facilitators at  the event were Head, Online Sales, Digital Platforms, BusinessDay, Linda Ochugbua moderated the webinar while Head, Corporate Strategy  Planning, Wema Bank, Olufemi Akinfolarin.

Source: The Sun

June 1, 2021 UPDATED: Nigerian healthtech startup, CribMD, closes $2.6m seed round for product growth and team expansion

UPDATED: Nigerian healthtech startup, CribMD, closes $2.6m seed round for product growth and team expansion

Founded in June 2020, Nigerian healthtech startup, CribMD has closed a $2.6 million seed round led by US-based VC, Sputnik ATX; Swedish accelerator, Norrsken; and mass media company, The Guardian Nigeria. This fund brings the startup’s total investments to $2.85 million.

At launch, the founders — Ifeanyi Ossai (CEO), Ngiri Michael (CTO), and Lorna Mae Johnson (CFO) — bootstrapped a $250k pre-seed round to get the business running. In February 2021, it raised an initial investment of $100k for this round from Sputnik ATX — a US accelerator.

Ossai told Techpoint Africa that they exceeded their $2 million target for this round because of investors’ interest.Advertisement

“Our investors recognise the value of what we’re doing and that we’re very profitable at it. We had to turn down several investments even from our current investors. Our $2 million was oversubscribed,” he says.

He believes this was possible because the startup has a strong team and a viable product that investors know is worth backing.

With this fundraise, the startup wants to expand its current team of 36 professionals and grow its network of partners. The startup has notable customers like The Guardian Nigeria — one of the investors in this round — Bora Communications, IHS Towers, Energy Batteries Nigeria limited, and NeoTech.

“We’ve raised it to specifically do team expansion, product enhancement, and sales and marketing,” Ossai explains.

The business intends to focus more on growing its corporate subscribers in Nigeria and other African countries and working towards servicing the B2B and B2C markets equally.

CribMD has subscription packages for all classes of people, with its services costing between $7 and $50 monthly.

Apart from consultancy, diagnosis, prescriptions, and lab tests, the startup is currently experimenting with different service delivery features to provide easy-to-use services.

Before evolving to become CribMD, the business — which started as WeCare — set out to build 300 clinics strategically located across sub-Saharan Africa to solve the region’s inadequate healthcare problem.Advertisement

It pivoted from this after three years when the founders realised that physical clinics couldn’t sufficiently meet the daily healthcare demands of the population. WeCare is still running in Delta State, Nigeria. However, there won’t be any more additions to the four it has in the state.

Now a digital healthcare solution, CribMD is providing subscription-based on-demand healthcare services for Africans. With a monthly subscription, clients can communicate with a doctor, get house calls, and schedule telemedicine sessions or hospital visits via an app or website. They also have access to health insurance.

After 10 months of operation, Ossai claims CribMD is already profitable and is working towards making $24 million in annual recurring revenue within the next 12 months. Meanwhile, the platform is currently servicing 2,800 patients — with over 50,000 on waitlist — and making $75,000 in monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

With the COVID-19 outbreak came an increasing need for telemedicine, and African tech startups are, perhaps, attracting investment for this reason. According to Techpoint Africa’s Nigerian Startup Funding Report 2020, the healthtech sector raised $32.5 million across seven deals, a 404% increase from 2019’s figures.

Source: Techpoint

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