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What SMEs Must Do Before Applying For a Business Loan

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By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke,

Finding the right business idea is the single most important thing in building a successful business; raising capital is the second most important if you must nurture the idea of growth. While the sources of capital still remain largely the same – as they were in the last 2 decades, certain factors must be considered by entrepreneurs looking to raise capital through loans. Jumia, Nigeria’s number one shopping destination shares a few of the important considerations.

Firm up  your business plan

No doubt, as an entrepreneur, you have a business plan that serves as a compass for your business. Nonetheless, if you’re at the precipice of obtaining a business loan to advance the successful running of your business, it’s important that you firm up your business plan, as potential lenders will scrutinize every single element contained in the plan. You might likely jeopardize your only chance of raising capital if there are avoidable loopholes in the plan.  A potential lender will be keenly interested in knowing that you are running a credible business and that you have the knowledge and skill-sets required to grow it into something great. Include absolutely everything that has to do with your business, such as goals, competitors, past and projected revenue and expenses, market analysis, and how you intend to grow your company. This will be the first thing they read, and it could be the last if they are not immediately interested.

Research your borrowing options

There are a whole lot of options for loans today. You have the banks, online loan lending platforms and companies offering loans to entrepreneurs. A good example of the latter is Jumia Lending where vendors selling on the platform are granted easy working capital with no collateral. The rules for getting a loan are simple: You must have been selling on Jumia for at least 6 months, your 6-month average sales revenue on Jumia must be greater than N100,000 and your 6-month average items sold on Jumia must be more than 25 items.

Prepare financial statements

You will want to include any past financial statement you can provide for the lenders and future projections. Come up with a plan that you will follow, and show projected numbers so that your lenders can see your goals clearly and know that you will be able to make enough money to pay them back. Include your cash flow statements, income statements, and balance statements for the past three to five years, and show your estimates for these statements for the next few years, taking into account all seasonal changes in your business and how you will use the money you are borrowing.

Know your capacity for collateral

Certain types of loans will require you to put down some form of collateral. If this is the type of loan you choose, you will need to have a good idea of how much your form of collateral is worth. Lenders will want to know this number and you will want to know that you have something of tangible value to secure the loan. Just make sure that you’re not going to default on the loan and lose whatever property you use.

Understand what the loan will cost you in the end

You will want to know exactly how long it will take you to pay off your loan. Find out what kinds of offers various lenders will be able to give you, and use those interest rates and fees to estimate your payments. All of this information should be included in your financial statements, but you should also add up all of your payments to see how much the loan will cost you. Know all of the terms and conditions attached to each loan offer before you decide which one will be best for you, and be able to show the lenders that you are a good investment.

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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E-Financial

Access Bank Partners Fintech to Modernise Banking Processes

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Mr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, has said that Access Bank has continued to innovate through the creation and adoption of modern banking tools and by leveraging on partnerships with FinTechs such as AFF to reinvent and modernise its banking processes,

He stated this at  the third edition of Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) Disrupt Conference at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island.

Themed ‘Digital Goldrush: Building a Sustainable Tech Economy’, the conference showcased the growing value of data as the future currency of the new tech economy through loads of interactive, fun and engaging sessions, world-class speakers and a phenomenal array of exhibitors who are industry and thought leaders in the technology space.

Wigwe recognised the improvement in global financial processes by advancements in technology and assured that the Bank is keeping up with the trends. “There was a time when payments could only be made through cheques, but with technology, transactions worth billions can be made in seconds. That is how much the world has changed.

A highlight of the conference was the demo pitch session which saw various innovators showcase their applications and new technology, explaining the solutions created to teeming participants. At the end of an intense session, Gricd, whose product, GRICD Frij is an affordable and portable cold chain device for efficient storage of vaccines, blood and other health/agricultural products won, earning a grant of $10,000.

In his keynote address, the Chief Executive Officer of Moven, United Kingdom, Brett King emphasized the importance of technology adoption to banking processes and also addressed the growing fear of robots replacing humans in the banking halls. He said that banking no longer depended on physical spaces, which has reduced the friction in banking processes and massively increased delivery.

“Technology is moving faster than ever before and in an environment with such rapid change, you either disrupt or get disrupted. Hence, if you are resistant to change as a banker in an evolving ecosystem like Nigeria’s, we need to start helping you look for a job outside banking,” he said. At the conference, speakers and panelists identified women as key proponents to ensure the growth and success of financial technology in Nigeria, urging them to be more collaborative and assertive in seeking to disrupt the Nigerian digital space.

Emphasising the point, the Chairman, Zinox Group Nigeria, Leo Stan Ekeh, during an interactive session with Access Bank’s Deputy Group Managing Director, Roosevelt Ogbonna said, “Women are the smartest money makers and disruptors. Investors are looking to invest in female entrepreneurs and techpreneurs working together. So it has become more imperative that women begin to take advantage of these opportunities and the collective power that they have”.

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Banks’ Customers Petition CIBN, Demand N334Bn, $420m from Banks

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Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has said that about 2,122 bank customers lodged complaints against their banks with the Sub–Committee on Ethics and Professionalism of the institute between 2001 and 2018.

 

The CIBN disclosed this in its 2018 annual report and accounts which it released on Saturday.

 

The committee was responsible for resolution of disputes relating to unethical practices between or among banks as well as between banks and their customers.

 

In the report, the customers demanded claims totalling N344.01bn and $420.06m in the period under review.

 

The institute said it resolved 1,993 cases and awarded N30.26bn and $18.41m to the petitioners in 2017.

 

In the report, it stated that 140 cases were outstanding as of the end of 2018.

 

Part of the CIBN report read, “Since inception in 2001, the sub-committee has received a total number of 2,122 petitions/cases with total claims of N344.01bn and $420.06m in local and foreign currencies respectively.

 

“1,993 cases were resolved which resulted to N30.26bn and N18.41m awarded/ refunded to petitioners/ customers by banks.”

 

The institute also said that as of the end of April 2019, it had received 129 new cases with claims amounting to N11.89bn.

 

It also said that in 2019, it had so far awarded N1.83bn in 138 pending cases.

 

The President, CIBN, Dr Uche Olowu, said the Nigerian banking industry witnessed several notable developments in the year under review.

 

“Most importantly was in the area of enhancement and advancement in fintech and digitisation,” he said.

 

He assured that the institute would continue to guard its financial resources while at the same time, ensuring that the implementation of its vision and goals for the institute were not hampered by financial constraints.

 

Seye Awojobi, registrar/chief executive, CIBN, said, the operations of the institute had been in consonance with responsible accounting and consequence management to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of its mandates.

 

He said that in the year under review, the thorough process had propelled the staff members to be more resourceful and focus- driven to achieve their set targets.

 

“Furthermore, it is noteworthy to inform you that the current Strategy Plan (approved in 2016) of the institute would run its full course by September 2019 and adequate process has been put in place by the Research, Strategy & Advocacy Committee towards the development of a new and robust strategy plan that would incorporate the expected actions and deliverables in tandem with dynamics of the business climate.”

 

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Nigeria’s Economic Growth Cools in Q1, Pound Rattled by Political Risk

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By Lukman Otunuga, FXTM Research Analyst,

Growth in the largest economy in Africa slowed to 2.01% during the first quarter of 2019, thanks to external risks and contraction in the Oil sector.

Although the non-Oil sector grew by 2.47%, the Oil sector, which remains the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner, shrank by 2.40%. While Nigeria remains on a quest to break away from the chains of Oil reliance, the nation remains exposed to external shocks and this was reflected in the latest GDP figures. Will the deceleration in growth momentum pressure the Central Bank of Nigeria to cut interest rates in an effort to jumpstart the economy? This is a question on the minds of many investors.

Sterling struggles to nurse wounds as political risk continues to bite

The return of domestic political turmoil in the United Kingdom has led to a flurry of selling momentum for the British Pound, which fell over 300 pips during the previous trading week.

The selling momentum  returned once again in the early hours of Monday morning and the news flow circulating around UK Prime Minister Theresa May needing to state her leaving date, coupled with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stating that Brexit discussions have broken down makes it doubtful for buyers to be tempted back into the GBPUSD.

Taking a look at the technical picture, the GBPUSD remains firmly bearish on both the daily and weekly charts. There have been consistently lower lows and lower highs while the MACD has crossed to the downside. The solid weekly close below 1.2820 has opened the doors towards 1.2700 and 1.2620 in the near term.

 

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Commodity spotlight – Gold

The past few days have certainly not been kind to Gold and this continues to be reflected in the bearish price action.

Signals over the direction of US-China trade talks have caused risk sentiment to swing back and forth, ultimately impacting the appetite for Gold. While Gold bulls are clearly losing the battle as prices trade towards $1274, the war still rages on.

The sentiment pendulum could easily swing in favour of bulls this week, if trade tensions intensify and concerns over slowing global growth accelerate the flight to safety. With Gold still supported by core themes in the form of a cautious Federal Reserve and speculation over a potential US rate cut in 2019, the precious metal remains shielded by downside shocks.

Looking at the technical picture, sustained weakness below $1280 is seen opening a path towards $1268 in the short-to-medium term.

 

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