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Nigeria social banking pioneer, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has launched “The SME MarketHub”, a free business directory and e-commerce portal that will help support Small and Medium scale enterprises (SMEs) activities in Africa biggest economy.

The e-commerce portal, deemed the West African country’s first for SMEs, will help entrepreneurs list, promote and sell their business or services online while taking advantage of numerous business opportunities and tools within the space to enhance profitability.

“The SME Market Hub” will provide entrepreneurs with a platform that will help them “create and maintain online presence and expand their business frontiers to new markets and millions of buyers that are online,” said GTBank Managing Director, Segun Agbaje.

The platform will also create a community that will allow them build meaningful and sustainable relationships with other business owners.

Agbaje noted that while economic conditions pose different challenges for SMEs in Nigeria, it is vital for SMEs to get all the support they need to drive growth and development in the country’s economy.

Already, about 5,200 entrepreneurs have registered and began transaction on the platform, GTB General Manager and Group Head, Communications and External Affairs, Mrs. Lola Odedina said.

According to her, features of the platform include a free webpage, with e-commerce tools; unique website address; personalized online storefront; shopping cart, with no consignment fee; online payment gateway; inventory management tools; order and enquiry notifications; messaging service; and membership within the SME MarketHub directory.

Businesses interested in joining “The SME MarketHub” will however have to operate a GTBank account.

Meanwhile, Agbaje said the bank will commit a percentage of all transactions carried out on the platform to its Autism fund, which would be used to build an “Autism Resource Centre” to enable parents, educators, therapists and caretakers have access to information that will boost efforts to provide quality care for those with Autism and special disorders.

Recognised as one of the most innovative and service focused banks in Africa, GTB plans to launch the Ghana and East African versions of “The SME MarketHub” before the end of the year to leverage on the countries’ vibrant small business markets.

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