Date: Dakar - Nov 12, 2014        News Page

Dakar - Nov 12, 2014 - SMEFUNDS - Green Energy & Biofuels Limited has been named one of the most valuable Enterprises operating in Africa at the Africa SME Champions Awards that recently held between 11th & 12th November 2014 in Dakar, Senegal. The Ecobank Group and the Africa SME Champions Forum have partnered with other co-organizers such as the African Guarantee Fund and AfricSearch to sponsor the hosting of over 300 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) at the first Africa SME Champions Forum.

Speaking at the forum, SMEFUNDS' CEO Femi Oye said "we are grateful to God that we have evolved from just a local SME to a continental champion. This is a testament to the fact that the future belongs only to those who believe in the beauty of their dream. In spite of our lack of access to required capital, we have progressed against all odds to develop what today has become a multi-million dollar enterprise providing clean and affordable cooking energy to customers in about 7 African Countries with our main operations in Nigeria. We continue to create jobs to several people on our continent while maintaining an innovative and disciplined approach to running our enterprise.

In a press statement issued by Ecobank, one of the sponsors of the forum, "the Africa SME Champions Forum creates an opportunity to identify Africa's next great success stories. It was an avenue for over 300 ambitious SMEs in Africa who are interested in growing their businesses to enjoy direct access platform to finance. In addition, it also provides them the opportunities to enjoy master classes, customized consultancy services and mentoring from a number of financial institutions as well high-quality experts and policy makers".

Application was received from 250 SMEs through a careful selection process, using strict parameters that include, being officially registered in Africa, legally created at least three years ago, turnover of at least $1.5 million and a minimum workforce of 10 employees. SMEFUNDS, Digital Jewel Ltd. and Stratcomm Africa Limited are some of the enterprises that made the Top list at the awards.

Commenting on the forum, Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Tony Okpanachi, said "the inaccessibility of finance was a major obstacle to small business growth and development, with only 20 per cent of African SMEs receiving a credit line from financial institutions". According to Patrick Akinwuntan, Group Executive Director, Ecobank and Sunkanmi Olowo, Ecobank, Head of SME, "we have enjoyed business relationship with SMEFUNDS and look forward to even bigger cooperation in the future". The Managing Director/CEO of Abuja Enterprise Agency, Aisha Abubakar also commended the solution to energy crises that SMEFUNDS invests to provide.

About Africa SME Champions Forum
The Africa SME Champions Forum focuses on concrete solutions to the numerous challenges facing African managers.

About SMEFunds
SMEFUNDS is a social enterprise based in Lagos, Nigeria promoting safer and cleaner biofuel gel with their patented Cook stoves as an alternative to dangerous and harmful kerosene, Charcoal, LPG and other fossil fuel. They are the first partners of UN Sustainable Energy for All High-Impact Initiative for Sustainable Bioenergy in Africa.

Contact:,, +44 7424 558 777


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