Microsoft and First Bank of Nigeria Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to empower and create enabling environment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria by providing them business support services such as access to premium content, business networks, capacity building initiatives and innovative offers of banking and technology services. The partnership is also expected to enable SMEs thrive and find more creative ways to solve their business growth challenges. At the MoU signing ceremony in Lagos, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank, Gbenga Shobo, expressed the bank’s unwavering commitment to the business success of SMEs in the country with its array of products and bespoke solutions, specially designed to help grow and sustain them. “We are committed to the development of SMEs and ensuring their sustained business growth.” as well as providing the necessary tools to support that growth and Nigeria’s economy at large,” he stated. In his remark, General Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso, stated: “Our approach at Microsoft has been one of empowerment and collaboration. Initially, our work with SMEs was strongly focused on bringing them online to boost their productivity and competitiveness. Over the years, as we have worked with and learned from SMEs, our focus has evolved to provide them with a more holistic and game-changing offering, which is: Access to technology, markets, finance, information, skills, and services.” Banuso recalled that Microsoft’s commitments under the 4Afrika banner are focused on playing an active role in Africa’s economic development. “For SMEs, this means empowering them to digitally transform by using technology to be more productive, competitive and in a position to scale across borders. We can help them do this by providing affordable devices, cloud-based software at pay-as-you-go models, anytime-anywhere access, and relevant training and content on how best to apply technology to their business,” he added.