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Seven-Up Bottling Company empowers SMEs with inaugural scale-up bootcamp

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In a strategic partnership with Zenith Bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Seven-Up Bottling Company (SBC) has successfully hosted the first edition of its SME Scale-Up Bootcamp.

The two-day workshop, themed ‘Dream Big, Scale Bigger,’ was designed to empower 80 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with essential insights into scaling their businesses within the Nigerian ecosystem.

The Managing Director of SBC, Ziad Maalouf, underscored the crucial role SMEs play in contributing to Nigeria’s GDP and commended the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians. The boot camp, he emphasized, aimed to empower more entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses, thereby fostering economic growth and job creation.

Maalouf outlined ten prerequisites for scaling SMEs, emphasizing key factors such as a big idea, passion, cash flow, value, teamwork, strong business acumen, purpose, network, artificial intelligence, and business transformation advice.

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Addressing the participants, Lare Oladimeji, Deputy General Manager and Head of Retail Banking at Zenith Bank emphasized the importance of understanding loan products before opting for them. He highlighted key steps for business owners to boost their chances of accessing funding, including being conversant with the “five Cs of credit” and having a clear business continuity and succession plan.

UNIDO’s National Director, Oluyomi Banjo, commended SBC for organizing the workshop and stressed the need for Nigeria to embrace sustainable innovation by investing in the growth of SMEs. He highlighted UNIDO’s commitment to advancing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9, which focuses on industry, innovation, and infrastructure.

Other facilitators at the workshop included Babatunde Irukera, former Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Agency; Adeshola Aliogo, Founder of Thrive HR; and Segun Ogunleye, General Manager of Marketing at SBC.

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