The entrepreneur’s struggle is not an easy one – it’s a new challenge everyday. Success does not come easy – and as the CEO of Diamond Bank, I have seen and experienced it. At Diamond Bank, we not only take pride in acknowledging ourselves as pioneers in transforming banking in Nigeria, but wholeheartedly support young entrepreneurs to drive business success through technology. The right technology will not only help us to evade many of our current challenges, but also create a sustainable economy for our future generations. Those following my Tech Turks interviews would probably understand how deeply as an individual and a technology lover, I am committed to seeing Nigeria develop as a global technology powerhouse and that’s probably why, every technology initiative that the Government initiates appeals to me. Being a technology evangelist, I feel a deeper sense of belongingness to initiatives that involves technology, its adaptation and innovation, and its appropriate use by startups and entrepreneurs to transform the economic landscape of the country. ‘The Pitch‘ therefore, (the Presidency’s pet project for entrepreneurs and IT start-ups) in the ‘Aso Villa Demo Day’ is one such federal government initiative, that Diamond Bank resonates and had to collaborate with!
As a bank we have already made our contribution through the BET Program (Diamond Bank’s CSR activity that celebrates entrepreneurial initiatives across fashion, agriculture, renewable energy, IT and communications, by rewarding 5 winners with 15 million naira for their business) and our partnership with Intermac Consulting for the Aso Villa Demo Day is another way for us to showcase our support for improving opportunities for IT start-ups. We believe that timely innovation and adaptation of the right technology is probably the most reasonable solution to the pressing socio-economic challenges that Nigeria faces. This partnership therefore will not only help to identify, adopt and empower IT start-ups but establish value by creating jobs, the spirit of innovation and economic growth across the country.
As remarked by Lanre Osibona, the P.A. to the Vice President and Senior Special Adviser on ICT, our collective vision is to develop ‘innovation hubs’ that will contribute to sustainable growth across agriculture, banking, engineering, manufacturing and other sectors of the economy. The objective is to nurture talent and ideas, support them and cultivate them, so as to positively transform the economy and add long-term value to it.
Having invited almost 2000 new-age entrepreneurs to present their ideas for assessment, it was indeed a proud moment for us, to have Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook at the Aso Villa Demo Day Finale, in Abuja. Mr. Zuckerberg, being a technology enthusiast himself has been in conversation with the government for his cause (Free basics, Express WiFi etc.) and his presence in Nigeria and Kenya to meet government officials is nothing but indicative that our collective effort is bringing Nigeria into the global limelight.