By Odunewu Segun
As part of its strategic plan of identifying and supporting Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) in the country, Heritage Bank Plc, has introduced the Sunday Small Market in a bid to add value to its MSME customers.
Speaking with journalists at the maiden edition held in Lagos recently, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, Executive Director, Lagos/South West and Corporate Banking, said the innovation was another way of adding value to the bank’s customers.
She said Heritage Bank is a bank that is well known for supporting small businesses and this is another way of bringing as many small businesses as possible together to display their wares and crafts, which are locally made, and linking them with their customers.
The Executive Director added that because of the favourable responses being received from the SME customers, the bank intends to hold the market monthly in different areas of Lagos State, such as Surulere and Ikeja among others.
Also speaking, Mr. Ade Adegbite, Head of Brand Management of Heritage Bank, said the bank supports initiatives that bring visibility to its customers, adding that the idea behind the Sunday Market is to provide a platform for the SME customers to show case their products as well as interface with their existing customers and prospects.
Managing Director of Eazeewier Clothiers, which specialises in clothing children creatively, Mrs. Rita Ojo, described the idea as good for marketing because some of the people that came there would not have heard about her company if not for the exposure provided by the bank.
Also speaking, an official of David Wej, which sells shoes, bags and accessories, Mr. Bode Ola, said they had a field day on that day and enjoined the bank to sustain the project.
Several customers visited the market to purchase different items. One of them, Mrs. Dolly Imaze, who lives in Lekki said she got to know about the market through a friend who worked with the bank.
She enjoined the bank to sustain the idea and rotate the venue of the market around the city of Lagos for the benefit of other prospective customers, especially during the yuletide season.
Some of the bank’s SME customers that displayed their wares and crafts in the market include Vera Karris Accessories, Infusion Cakes, Niuma Boutique & Accessories, David Wej Global Ventures and De-Vine, makers of fresh juice, fresh salad smoothies and fresh fruits, among many others.
Heritage Bank has deliberately focused on the SME segment in a bid to create a fresh set of vibrant entrepreneurs that will create jobs and distribute wealth in the Nigerian economy because of recent statistics which indicate high unemployment among the youths that make up a large percentage of the population.