What was once a DREAM at Bellafricana to have a financial partner has now become a REALITY. Signed, sealed and partnered.
As reported by the News Agency of Nigeria and Business Day Nigeria; Bellafricana partners with Nest Cooperative to launch a Fund to Scale for Creative MSMEs in Nigeria.
Creative indigenous businesses lack the required skills and support to grow a sustainable business that can compete globally and this is what the Bellafricana platform for creative businesses is providing.
Bellafricana is an organised community which provides the much needed support and creates an enabling environment for the world to connect and trade online with reliable and credible creative Indigenous Businesses, anytime, anywhere.
To further this goal, they have identified the similar interest in MSMEs with the Nest Cooperative and are partnering with them to drive it home via their Investment fund bouquet.
Nest Cooperative through Finn Labs Ltd is a registered Cooperative focused on developing and enabling mostly SMEs to be better business corporations in Nigeria through the facilitation of smarter and improved financial systems to include savings, investments and loans.
During the signing of the agreement, Bukky Asehinde, CEO of Bellafricana said that “This initiative is a necessity at this point and especially with the African Trade Agreement; as a lot of Micro, Small and Medium Businesses need this support to enable them scale effectively to be able to participate in this global trade opportunity.”
“As we believe that businesses producing quality products Made-in-Nigeria play a key role towards increasing our export income as well as taxable income for the economy. Seeing how the Nest Cooperative have a proven track record of providing financial expertise with a focus towards SMEs in Nigeria; we couldn’t think of any reasons why not to partner with them.”
Through the Bellafricana platform, various business categories have been vetted, trained and guided through the different business management facets and many of them are currently registered and listed with Bellafricana as verified Nigerian businesses. These categories include Food and Beverage, Fashion, Arts & Crafts, Home and living, Health & Beauty to name a few.
Other partners already signed up with the community are the Lagos Chamber of commerce and industry, the Nigeria-American Chamber of commerce, National Export Promotion Council, DHL, Digital Marketing Skill Institute and so many others.
Mr Seyi Olusanya, COO of Nest Bank, said;
“It is quite impressive to see the amount of quality products with attention to details that are being made by members of the Bellafricana community and this becomes a great encouragement to ensure that the support they need to succeed is being provided and that is why NEST has extended their unwavering commitment to supporting SMEs and ensuring their growth through funding and advisory services.
The Made in Nigeria Creative business is set to gain easier access to financial support via new Bellafricana-Nest partnership which should also drive socio-economic factors like unemployment a bit lower than currently is in the Nigerian sphere.
The Alliance of the two business entities provides the opportunity for more creative businesses to leverage the partnership for mutual benefits.
Some of the Nest Cooperative services the Bellafricana community members will benefit from include a financial model analysis where they advise the SME owners on the smarter ways to position their business to generate more revenue through trade and equipment financing as has identified as the crux of their needs.
The management teams of both companies have specialized skills ranging across understanding the best practices to raising funding for production, material sourcing, branding and packaging. All of which are what these SMEs need to be well on their way to being better positioned amongst the first batch of Made in Nigeria goods to be eligible for the AfCTA and trade globalization.
Mrs Bukky Asehinde also reiterated the fact that whilst her focus has been on ensuring that the creative businesses she openly promotes via the Bellafricana platform are verified, a number of the unverified businesses are yet to get to this stage because of imminent gaps in their business operations that prevent them from scaling that milestone achievement. She is hopeful that with the new partnership that more of this category can also get verified and scale their businesses via avenues to include partnerships, collaborations and service rendering offers from even within the NEST SME community.
Who knows if the next global brand will emerge from amongst any of these small businesses? Time will tell.