Diamond Bank

Diamond Bank

Uzoma Dozie, Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank Plc

Sponsor foreword

Across the entire world, every nation that has successfully dealt with the issue of poverty and unemployment has done so in a similar manner: by leveraging the catalytic importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In Nigeria, the contribution of SMEs to the economy is huge and significant. Around 10% of total manufacturing output and 70% of industrial employment is generated by SMEs in Nigeria.

These businesses are essential components of the manufacturing sector that forms the link between the extraction industry and the services sector, and are therefore pivotal in the wealth creation process of such economies. They are vital tools in achieving sustainable economic development, especially in emerging markets and developing economies such as Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region at large.

While a lot has been done across the continent to enhance the robustness of the SME sector, a lot more needs to be done, particularly in areas such as power and access to capital. There is an urgent need for African countries to come up with a clear roadmap for building a robust SME sector that permeates the entire country.

“There is an urgent need for African countries to come up with a clear roadmap for building a robust SME sector”

At Diamond Bank, we know the importance of SMEs. We see them as key elements in addressing the rising levels of poverty and youth unemployment in Nigeria – a potential time bomb that now affects more than 50% of the youth labour force. Over the years, we have carved out a niche as the most SME-friendly bank in Nigeria through a bouquet of innovative solutions that have made life easier for these enterprises.

We offer a wide range of innovative solutions aimed at enhancing the business productivity of SMEs. These include extensive collection systems, cash management services, web portal development and asset finance. We are in partnership with renowned institutions such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to ensure we offer best-in-class services to SME clientele at all times. We also offer other initiatives in the Nigerian market that have made us stand out. One is our Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) programme, through which we reward viable ideas with up to $10,000 each to promote entrepreneurial development in various sectors. Another is our Diamond Woman proposition, a capacity-building initiative for women, aimed at scaling up financial access for adult females to help them become self-sufficient.

Diamond is an SME and retail-focused bank and, as such, we encourage young business owners to remain resilient in the knowledge that we are ready to go beyond banking to assuage their plights and make their businesses grow.

Uzoma Dozie, Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank Plc