Heritage Bank tasks HB LAB start-ups on Nigeria becoming Africa’s ICT destination hub

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider charged applicants of HB Lab start-ups to support Nigeria’s aspiration and roadmap to become a leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub in Africa. Executive Director of the bank, Jude Monye disclosed this at the launch of the maiden edition of the new innovation-driven concept, HB LAB yesterday, in Lagos. Monye commended the 10 teams of contestants who made it to the LAB, whilst charging them to replicate the Rwand’s ICT digital tech system feats. He, however, canvassed for indigenous production of advanced technological systems, as against leaving the core job in the hands of foreigners. Addressing the applicants, Monye said, as usual, the financial powerhouse is known for supporting and sponsoring investment ideas that have the potency of challenging the status quo with the motive of impacting positively on the critical sectors of the nation’s economy.

According to him, the management of Heritage Bank is always seeking viable business ideas that could compliment the fiscal policies of the government with the ultimate aim of growing and developing the aggregate economy. At Heritage Bank, we help aspiring entrepreneurs to create, preserve and transfer wealth. What we are gathered here for today, is another moment of innovation-driven concept that is expected to provide startup enterprises with enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions for the economic development drives, he said.

For this maiden edition, Monye explained that Heritage Bank has ceded the professional handling of the 12-week competition to a consultancy firm. According to him, this was done to allow for professionalism, fair-play and objectivity. He further stated that his management was not really particular about any sector of the economy, as the winner could emerge from any industry as long as his proposal is strong enough to impact positively on the various sectors. His words: We are not zeroing in on any particular idea or industry; we are more interested in the result achievable in different sectors.

The application portal https://www.hblabs.com.ng/ which was launched on the 31st January 2019 closed on the 14th February 2019. About 154 applicants who applied were reviewed 30 who made above average score and grouped into 10 Teams, whilst at the end of the 12 weeks programme will produce the best Tech start-up as a Team.

Similarly, Ike Williams, Directorate Head, Service Bank/Chief Information Officer, Heritage Bank congratulated the participants in attendance. He said for them to scale the first hurdle, it shows that the quality of their proposals was higher than that of their counterparts who were screened out. He stated that the management of Heritage Bank and the consultants would be looking out for innovation, commitment, sincerity of purpose among other variables before any contestant could be picked as winner. Meanwhile, Williams assured them that even if they do not win, the experience they would have gained while they are on the programme will be useful for them in growing their enterprises.

Among the participants at the launch are: Mile12Food; 365weddingedit; and TREP Labs. Others are: Simbibot, BBOX, Nesterpod, LadipoMarket.com, Fashion Map and Iden2five.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

L-R: Dr. Sophia Horsefall, Corporate Relations Manager, SPDC; Osepiribo Ben-Willie, Executive Director of Heritage Bank and Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe held in Port Harcourt.

PRESS RELEASE

Heritage Bank is agent for actualisation of SDG 5-Gender Equality, women empowerment – Kilali Tribe

05/12/2022:  Heritage Bank has been commended for being an agent for the actualisation of Sustainable Development Goals SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment for socio-economic growth.

This was stated by Kilali Tribe at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe which held in Port Harcourt.

The Kilali Tribe is an association of prolific Rivers and Bayelsa State women who come together to support themselves through peer learning, capacity-building initiatives, networking, and mentoring. Also, provide similar structured support to other women within the community.

Speaking at the event, Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News who also member of Kilali Tribe, commended Heritage Bank for taking the lead in championing the empowerment of women over the years in the country.

“We are proud of Heritage Bank for making us soar while promoting women empowerment. Over the years, Heritage Bank has proved to be an agent for the actualisation of achieving SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment,” she said.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank, Osepiribo Ben-Willie affirmed the need to deliberately adopt measures to deepen women empowerment to drive the nation’s socio-economic growth.

In her closing remarks, Osepiribo Ben-Willie hinted that the Conference had leveraged Kilali Tribe to come up with blueprint in promoting women’s equal right to socio-economic empowerment, as this is at the heart of the SDG5-Gender Equality.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank affirmed that women all over have proved to be huge economic asset in the act of creation of a new sustainable economy, hence gender inclusiveness and women’s empowerment must be taken as a priority.

According to her, after evaluating the bottlenecks restraining the Kilali Tribe and other women to attain the platforms to grow professionally and thrive in all spheres of t heeconomy, it is a call to action to “tackle the challenges of gender disparity and lack of inclusiveness that have continued to impede the expected rapid economic empowerment that could help unshackle our women’s entrepreneurial prowess and foster more representation for women and girls at decision-making forums and Board levels in comparison to their peers in the developed countries.”

Ben-Willie added that for women to emerge economically and socially as independent there was an urgent need to tackle psychological, social and skill constraints.

Collaborating Ben-Willie’s, the Co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, advocated for women and girl inclusiveness across all sectors of the society, including economic participation and decision-making.

According to him, the country should be conscious of gender equality, whilst emphasising that dealing with the psychological constraint will enable women to be balanced emotionally.

He stressed the need for organisation to leverage women positions on Board level, as they are resourceful and could enormously impact to the growth of any society.

Cole also charged women in being deliberate to position and champion course that would put them at the forefront of making difference. //END.//

Ozena Utulu, Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications