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A new selection of entrepreneurs has emerged on the Nigerian business landscape, and they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. The ‘Top 100 Emerging SMEs Awards’ by Connect Nigeria officially kicked off on the 12th of February, 2018, with an open invitation to members of the public who gladly voted emerging SMEs that have distinguished themselves by providing outstanding products and services. This initiative by Connect Nigeria, Nigeria’s information portal that provides constructively relevant information about everything Nigerian, was birthed in response to the need for recognition and encouragement of young entrepreneurs who by sheer foresight, tenacity and pioneering efforts, have made significant contributions to various sectors of the Nigerian economy. Eligible businesses were broken down into broad categories including Agriculture, Alternative Energy, Automobile, Beauty and Wellness, Construction, Home Repair, Real Estate, E-Commerce, Education, Environmental Management, Event Planning and Coordination, Fashion and Style, Financial Technology, Food, Health, Legal, Manufacturing, Media and Entertainment, Non-Profit, Online Business, Professional Services, Retail, Transport and Logistics, Tourism and Hospitality, The Art, Tech Start-Ups, Social Enterprises, Software and Sports. The public response to this innovative competition was encouraging, as a total of 13,470 nominations were received. Using predefined criteria of the competition for rigorous screening and verification, Sawubona Consulting Services narrowed down to 250 businesses in the final stage. Shortly after this, the public was invited to vote SMEs onto the top 100 list. After having notified qualified business owners, the voting portal was declared open on the 25th of May, 2018, and officially closed on the 26th of June, 2018. At the end of the competition, a total of 27,897 votes were cast. To climax the entire competition and set off celebration, it is the pleasure of Connect Nigeria; Nigeria’s information portal, to announce the winners of the 2018 Top100 Emerging SMEs. To view winners, visit Certificates of achievement will be issued to the winners, in addition to a 1 Month free advertising on all Connect Nigeria platforms. The British Council and Lagos Chamber for Commerce and Industry (LCCI) were also part of the initiative set up to honor some of Nigeria’s top SMEs. The overwhelming response and positive testimonials from participating SMEs further lends credence to the visionary approach of Connect Nigeria in facilitating the ease of doing business in Nigeria, through initiatives such as this. A second edition would definitely be worth the wait! You can find out more about Connect Nigeria by visiting their website: You can also follow them across Social Media platforms: @connectnigeria

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This article was first published on 13th July 2018

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