Sterling Bank Plc has entered into a partnership with Opportunity Network, a digital deal match-making platform for vetted businesses and investors to connect to reliable trade partners globally.
The partnership is aimed at enhancing international trade between Nigeria and the rest of the world.
Opportunity Network is a private, invitation-only network and business match-making platform where business owners, CEOs and high network individuals are carefully selected and vetted by a financial institution.
It gives businesses opportunities in sales, mergers and acquisition, capital raising, company sales, all in in a trusted environment.
Speaking during the unveiling of the partnership in Lagos on Monday, Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, said the collaboration would enhance international trade and would allow for interaction of trusted partners.
He said: "As we think of the world becoming flat and trade becoming globalised, the one question Nigeria faces is who to establish trust for corporates outside Nigeria.
"When I present myself as Nigerian business, how does a counterpart from Europe America or Asia determine if I can be trusted. Because in the absence of trust, the cost of doing business for the country becomes limiting.
"So what opportunities network has developed is a platform that makes it possible for us to establish trust despite the physical distance that exits."
He further said Sterling Bank was committed to ensuring that businesses grow and connect with local and international partners.
"Opportunity network is that trusted place where trusted partners can interact. With this partnership, our customers will benefit because through the network, more cross border transactions will be done."
Also speaking, the Managing Director Nigeria, Opportunity Network, Adriana de la Cruz Duffo, said the platform aggregates high-quality commercial, mergers and acquisitions, and capital related opportunities from around the world into one single, online location.
She said the business deals are actionable and proprietary and can be posted and searched by deal type, industry, geography and deal size.
She said 75 per cent of the opportunities posted are either negotiating or already closed the deal while on average, members receive 11 connections per opportunity.
"It is an opportunity for agriculture companies to export their produce, for real estate companies to attract investments, for companies in oil and gas, transport, renewable energy and so on.
"A lot of opportunities posted on the platform are European investors looking to invest in healthcare in Africa, education, technology and all of this comes from a pace a trust because every investor has been vetted by a bank in their country.
"We have seen that when Nigerian companies post deals on the platform, they get connected within the first 24 hours because the world is looking to do business in Nigeria.
Also, the General Manager, Corporate Banking, Sterling Bank, Mrs. Mojisola Bakare said: "This network is basically a business tool for us to use in our businesses. It is a tool that gives us the opportunity for investors outside Nigeria to see those who have things to sell to be able to have a platform that leads the buyers to the seller.
"It positions Nigerian businesses in a good manner and gives us more opportunities for us to have buyers for our products."