Away from the main stage of the biggest fashion event in Africa, and long before we offered more than 120,000 fashion lovers, from across the continent and beyond, a fashion experience of their lifetime, we were faced with an existential challenge: how do we do more to enrich the lives of our customers?
We considered this question an existential challenge because we believed that today, for organizations to remain relevant, they must constantly pursue innovative ideas that offer more value to customers. For us, there could be no greater value than empowering small businesses and providing exciting lifestyle experiences for our customers.
That is why over the last decade we have sponsored a wide range of consumer-focused events, and in the last three years, created Free Business Platforms such as the GTBank Food and Drink Fair and the GTBank Fashion Weekend. We believe that with people’s spending often limited to taking care of basic needs— what to eat and what to wear;— if we focused on promoting enterprise in food and fashion, we would be propelling local entrepreneurs to dominate two critical sectors of our economy. We amplified this with Fashion Industry Credit and Food Industry Credit- a 9.00% per annum single digit interest rate loan for small businesses in Fashion and Food.
Growth is what we work towards with the GTBank Fashion Weekend—for indigenous fashion businesses in particular, and for the local fashion industry as a whole. But this growth does not come any easier than the struts of Africa’s finest models on the runway of Africa’s biggest event. It is for this reason that we work very deliberately to build networks for our Nigerian and African designers, connecting them to their peers, and markets, around the world. This year, our fashion buyers and fashion editors visited factories of several Nigerian designers including Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi, Idma Nof and Gozel Green.
Building capacity for entrepreneurs is also at the top of our priorities list, a major reason we put together a team of internationally reputed fashion experts to facilitate masterclasses for thousands of budding and established indigenous fashion entrepreneurs.
Even before we shut down the lights of the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend, we were already up and about, planning our next big consumer-focused event; the 2019 GTBank Food and Drink Fair. This is because we are fully committed to our vision of empowering small businesses with the expertise, networks and resources that they need to thrive, and creating lifestyle experiences for our customers.