News Release

Cisco Embarks on Heightened Support for Small Businesses in Nigeria

'Small is Big' Contest to provide stepping stone for one lucky Small Business in Nigeria
Aug 26, 2009

LAGOS, Nigeria, August 26, 2009 - Cisco today announced a heightened program of support for small businesses throughout Nigeria. Through this initiative Cisco aims to help small businesses in Nigeria gain greater agility and efficiency in working with customers who are increasingly expecting to do business on the move, on the Internet and via video. The program will launch, during the week of 24th August 2009 with an on-line, six-week contest entitled 'Small is Big'.  The winning business will be entitled to receive Cisco small business products comprising routing/switching, wireless, security and voice solutions.

This program builds on the $100 million global strategic initiative launched earlier this year which focuses on small business networking and communications solutions for companies with fewer than 250 employees.

Highlights / Key Facts:

  • Economic conditions are currently difficult for many small businesses in Nigeria but Cisco sees a very good long term opportunity as these companies embrace the Internet in their businesses. History also shows that small businesses innovate at a higher rate, and recover from periods of economic downturn faster than their larger counterparts. After the last two recessions in 1990 and 2001, the fastest job growth rate in Nigeria came from small businesses.*
  • Approximately 20 million Nigerians depend on these tiny small businesses for their livelihood usually without access to the finance and consulting services that they need to grow.
  • Lower taxes and increased price ceilings have increased the incentives to entrepreneurs in Nigeria. As a result, Nigeria is progressively trying to incorporate modern technology into its country as well as actively promoting technology in its educational system with the use of the internet. Although there are a lot of barriers, entrepreneurship in Nigeria is necessary for the country to become a developed nation. Cisco offers a 360 degree approach to small business that combines the broadest product portfolio with the largest global network of partners from whom to buy, with flexible service offerings available through dedicated in-person contact centres and online support.
  • The 'Small is Big' contest kicks-off during the week of 24th August 2009 and will run for 6 weeks. It is open to all Small businesses in Nigeria with between 10 and 250 employees. Entrants can enter by logging onto any of the following sites:
  • The contest will also be promoted on Nigeria's Cool FM Radio - 96.9 and Star FM Radio and will also be featured in national press advertisements in This Day and The Punch newspapers. The business selected at random after the closing date will be entitled to receive Cisco small business products comprising routing/switching, wireless, security and voice solutions worth $5,000 USD. 

  • Cisco's dedicated Small Business Technology Group (SBTG) develops technologies focused on six areas consistently highlighted as top priorities by small businesses for enabling business growth: connectivity, security, remote access, productivity, customer interaction and customer support. The SBTG is part of a companywide initiative composed of sales, marketing, services and technology groups that will focus solely on the small-business segment.

Executive Quotes:

  • Vincent Entonu, channel business manager, Cisco Nigeria
  • "Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy in Nigeria today and in today's environment, it's critical that small-business owners have a technology partner they can trust to help them find and deploy the right solutions to grow their businesses. With the widest range of solutions, from value-driven point products to expandable and upgradeable solutions to grow on, Cisco can meet any small business' communications needs."

  • Owen Nwelih SMB marketing manager, Cisco Africa
  • "The number one priority for small-business owners in Nigeria is to grow their companies, not become technology experts. Small businesses learn about and implement technology in a very different way to large enterprises. Recognising this, Cisco has transformed the way we communicate with small-business customers with a customized SMB-specific website and marketing campaigns that focus increasingly on business capabilities and benefits of complete solutions rather than on products and technologies."


Note to Editors:

* Source:  Gallup: Nigeria: Drivers and Challenges of Entrepreneurship – An article in a series on economics and governance in Nigeria by Magali Rheault and Bob Tortora: