Meet the Panelists of Sparkle’s Webinar for SMEs

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Digital Microfinance Bank, Sparkle Nigeria, in collaboration with Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University, has organised a webinar to discuss issues facing Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. The webinar, themed, “SMEs as engineers of growth; Simplifying Support for Small Businesses” will be held on February 7, 2022.

Panelists at the webinar are industry experts who will proffer solutions on how to tackle common challenges facing SMEs in Nigeria.

They are CEO, MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, CEO, Flour Mills of Nigeria Group, Boye Olusanya,  CEO, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe; Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Pan-Atlantic University, Nneka Okekearu; Senior Vice President, CEMEA at Visa, Otto Abasi Williams and Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Sparkle, Uzoma Dozie. The webinar will be moderated by Editor, BusinessDay Nigeria, Lehle Balde

Karl Toriola joined MTN Nigeria as Chief Technical Officer in 2006 before holding various positions across the MTN Group. He has over 24 years of experience from serving at MTN Group, WECA region; MTN Cameroon and before life in MTN, Vmobile Nigeria; Ericsson Nigeria & AG Switzerland. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and a Master of Science degree in Communication Systems from the University of Wales, Swansea, UK.  Toriola is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE) as well as a member of the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) and the Institute of Directors (IoD).


Boye Olusanya joined FMN in January 2020 as Group Chief Operating Officer before he was appointed CEO later that same year. He is both an engineer and a computer scientist by training. He graduated with Honours from the University of Lagos, as an engineer and furthered his career at the masters’ level at the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester, England where he obtained his M.Sc. Computer Science and M.Sc. Environmental Civil Engineering respectively. Boye has also attended several management programs at the Harvard, London and Lagos Business Schools.


Herbert Wigwe was appointed Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank in 2014 after his 12-year role as Deputy Managing Director. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Executive Management Programme. He holds a master’s degree in Banking and International Finance from the University College of North Wales, a master’s degree in Financial Economics from the University of London and a B.Sc. degree in Accounting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).


Nneka Okekearu is the Deputy Director and Head of Gender at the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan-Atlantic University. She has a 1st degree in Banking and Finance and MBA and is currently doing a doctorate in entrepreneurship. She has over 25 years of experience spanning banking, telecommunication and consulting. A World Bank Master Trainer and Assessor, Nneka believes in the power of mentoring, capacity building and networks. As head of Gender and Deputy Director at the Enterprise Development Centre, she has had the privilege of supporting women on their entrepreneurship journey.


Otto Abasi Williams was formerly Manager, Global Business Development at Syncada, and Senior Manager, Business Development at Bay Dynamics. He joined Visa in 2012 as Senior Director, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships and Vice President, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships for Visa before his current role as Senior Vice President, CEMEA at Visa. In 2008, Otto Williams completed a Master of Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley – Haas School of Business.

Uzoma Dozie is a banker, tech investor and financial inclusion advocate. He is the CEO and Founder of Sparkle, a financial technology community and ecosystem. As an advocate for technology, Uzoma is passionate about connecting individuals and businesses with digital solutions to improve their financial business and lifestyle activities. Before launching Sparkle in 2019, he was the GMD and Bank CEO of Diamond Bank from 2014 and successfully implemented a merger with Access Bank Plc in 2018. While at Diamond Bank, Uzoma also served as Executive Director of Corporate Banking and Executive Director of Regional Business Lagos & West Regions.


At the webinar, these seasoned individuals will discuss ways of creating a supportive environment for SMEs.

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