Bellafricana members gets 60 million naira export grant

Mr Olusegun Awolowo at the third edition of ACE Awards Africa by Bellafricana with Bukky Asehinde founder Bellafricana

Small and Medium sized Entrepreneurs across the country are putting in a lot of efforts to survive, scale the hurdles and compete favourably in different sectors.

To carve a niche for themselves they need support, encouragement and a business friendly environment.

The immediate past Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo has been a pillar of support to many. He recently supported Bellafricana members with a 60 Million Naira Grant.

This opportunity is meant to support their businesses through the Export Development Fund (EDF) via the Expansion Facility Programme [EEFP] which issued a 60 million Naira grant to the 15 awardees of the 3rd ACE Awards as well as a few other Bellafricana members that have shown export potential.

The opportunity unveiled during the 3rd edition of the African Creative Exhibition and Awards, held on the 29th of October 2021, at the BWC Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos will help to transform this businesses to the next phase with ease.

There Mr. Awolowo made clear the commitment of the NEPC to support and grow non-oil exports in the country.

Crude oil forms the major commodity that is being exported in Nigeria currently. In 2020, Crude petroleum topped Nigeria’s commodity export for the year according to COMMODITY.COM. Nigeria presently ranks as the tenth most petroleum-rich nation and by far the most affluent in Africa which makes the reason for being such an exporter of crude oil not far-fetched. This has in some ways made other industries take the back seat because, in recent years, there has been more focus on the country’s exportation of crude oil.

The Export Expansion facility programme, founded as a part of Mr. Awolowo’s legacy to grow Nigeria’s export industry has therefore provided a catalyst that supports the country’s active export businesses and export-ready businesses.

Speaking on this development, the CEO of Bellafricana, Bukky Asehinde could not contain her excitement as she spoke about how Mr. Awolowo through the Nigerian Export Promotion Council has been supportive of the growth and expansion of not just Bellafricana but her members.

“Mr Awolowo has time and time again proven to be a huge supporter not just to me or the over 5000 creatives he has supported through Bellafricana but to many creative entrepreneurs all over Nigeria.

Since the over 5 years that Bellafricana was founded, Mr. Awolowo has been a strong pillar of support to this community, endorsing us fully and boosting our brand credibility”.

She added: “This 60 Million Naira grant by the Export Expansion facility programme will go a long way in pushing many businesses forward. I celebrate Mr. Awolowo for showing us who a true leader is and I know that his legacy will always be known for generations to come”.

Asehinde went on to express her gratitude to Mr. Awolowo for standing by Bellafricana over the years and thanking him for building a legacy through his leadership as the former Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council. “We are proud of his legacy and his support by helping and enabling MSMEs to get to the export level.”

Mr. Awolowo has always supported Bellafricana and her vision to give more visibility to African-owned creative businesses.

He has shown this through his continuous support at every edition of the ACE Awards held since 2017 to laud and encourage the work of highly skilled individuals who are making significant contributions to their respective industries and putting Africa on the world map with their creations.

He has through the Nigerian Export Promotion Council [NEPC] sponsored and supported over 5000 creatives and is now wrapping up with this grant so creative entrepreneurs can scale up their businesses while growing the country’s export industry.

He has also used his encouraging words to push not just entrepreneurs but everyone around him beyond their limits so they can achieve their goals and even surpass them.

It is no wonder Bukky Asehinde describes him as “The father of non-oil exporters.”

One of the awardees and a beneficiary of the grant also appreciated Mr. Awolowo for believing in Nigerian creative entrepreneurs and supporting them in scaling their businesses beyond the shores of the country.

“If we had more people like Mr. Awolowo in this country who have demonstrated true leadership, I have no doubts that we will see more Nigerian entrepreneurs succeeding and getting the visibility they deserve in the global space.”

The Export Expansion Facility Programme [EEFP], a flagship project of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council [NEPC] founded under the leadership of the now former Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.

The Export Expansion Facility Programme seeks to democratize the discovery of exporters and their access to relevant government incentives to grow. The initiative supports businesses in Nigeria, with at least one customer abroad, or working on acquiring customers abroad.
It also supports businesses in Nigeria that provide services that an export business might need and it offers these businesses a series of incentives to expand their reach and become an exporter.

Bellafricana is a tech-enabled community that provides a platform for Nigerian and African Creative entrepreneurs in the Fashion, Arts & Crafts, Home & Living, Beauty, and Food produce & Snacks Industry to gain visibility, increase sales, and have the right business support and structure that gives them the capacity to grow their business.

Bellafricana’s vision is to become the biggest e-commerce company that promotes African products to the world and is on the verge of accomplishing this as it recently launched a Marketplace [].

ACE Award third edition Winners 2021 Mr Olusegun Awolowo endorses Bukky Asehinde, the founder of Bellafricana as the zero oil ambassador to Nigeria Mr Olusegun Awolowo endorses Bukky Asehinde, the founder of Bellafricana as the zero oil ambassador to Nigeria Mr Olusegun Awolow receiving an award at the ACE Awards Africa third edition

Entering the Export Market: What you should know About Trade Missions


Trade missions are an important indicator of expansion. They are crucial for creative businesses within Africa willing to enter new markets, mainly to facilitate, streamline and optimize the process that must be followed to export to many countries.

How do Trade Missions Work?

Trade missions are pre-arranged working trips that are conducted by organizations, to serve the interest of exporters.

A trade mission brings together suppliers and potential customers in one place for a few days of intensive meet-and-greets and matchmaking.

Generally organized by governments, in conjunction with trade groups, trade missions allow a lot of business to be done within a short period.

Why go on Trade Missions?

The trade mission allows you to gain better market intelligence to expand your markets.

In terms of marketing, a well-organized and properly lead trade mission is a great leveraging tool.

What do Trade Missions offer?

A well-organized trade mission provides expert service and assistance to include the following activities:

  • Qualify potential customers pertinent to your company’s product.
  • Identify potential representation partners.
  • Provide contact with government and public officials.
  • Offer translation as needed.
  •  Arrange logistics, including local transportation, accommodations, appointments, and meeting facilities.

How do you get the most out of Trade Missions?

TradeMission Meetings

First, clearly define your expectations for participating on the trip. (Be sure to write specific, simple and quantifiable objectives).

The second most important criterion to get the most out of a trade mission is to provide your mission leader with a one-page profile. This should be sent as far in advance as possible. One page is preferred as it can be faxed, emailed and handed out in pre-mission recruiting activity.

What should your profile contain?

The first item of your profile should clearly state a one-paragraph description of your company.

Second on the list should be a paragraph explaining, in lay terminology, your product or service.

Next, you should include an explanation of the type of company and person you need to meet with.

The fourth item to include is a brief list of your most important expectations.

This one-page profile makes it easier for the mission leader to understand how to best help you.
It will also be a constant reminder to keep you focused and on track before and during your mission.


In summary, a well-organized and clearly defined trade mission can be one of your best marketing and sales tools to help you grow your creative business internationally.

Did you enjoy reading this? I’d love to hear what you think.

ASSETS and African Hub International: Thinking About Export?

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]  Thinking About Export? Remember – Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Tread! African Sustainable SME Export Trade Solutions (ASSETS) is partnering with African Hub International to bring to all SMEs a constructive workshop themed Preparing Nigerian SMEs For Opportunities And Challenges In The Non-oil Export Sector. [/dropcap]
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Export Procedure For Made in Nigeria Products

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] Export is one of the major ways I believe the Nigerian market can maximise it’s potential. Most people I’ve met, get to know my stand on import and export before too long.
It is not an hidden fact that I am always on the campaign for exportation of quality made in Nigeria products. This is one of the drive behind Bellafricana. We aim to bridge the gap between the producers and the local & global market.
In this post, one of our Bellafricana Verified business owner shares her first hand experience with the export process. Her name is Achenyo Idachaba, she is the Founder and CEO of MitiMeth, a made in Nigeria initiative that solves environmental problems while creating employment opportunity for the people.
It is always important to learn from each other and pass the lesson learnt on. This is why we would like you to follow Achenyo’s write up closely, you might learn something priceless here too. She writes… [/dropcap]
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Highlights From The SME Non-Oil Export Workshop by ASSETS & African Hub

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] A while ago we shared with you the details about an upcoming SME Non-Oil Export Workshop, Themed Dollars and Sense. Dollars and Sense! Repositioning Nigerian SMEs As Catalysts to Achieve Rapid, Sustainable Growth in the Non-oil Export Sector.
The workshop was organised by African Sustainable SME Export Trade Solutions (ASSETS) in partnership with African Hub International. This event was coordinated by Ms Shade Bembatoum-Young, the CEO of African Sustainable SME Export Trade Solutions (ASSETS).
If you missed the opportunity to participate in this enlightening workshop, you can read the highlights as written by Siaka Momoh on Real Sector Now, below… [/dropcap]
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Dollars and Sense: Nigerian SMEs in Non-Oil Export Sector

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] African Sustainable SME Export Trade Solutions (ASSETS) is partnering with African Hub International to bring to all SMEs a constructive workshop themed Dollars & Sense! Repositioning Nigerian SMEs As Catalysts to Achieve Rapid, Sustainable Growth in the Non-oil Export Sector.
The workshop coordinator, Ms Shade Bembatoum-Young, is the CEO of African Sustainable SME Export Trade Solutions (ASSETS). She will be sharing amply from her vast knowledge on non-oil export with attendees… [/dropcap]
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