Artificial Intelligence Key To Business Development, Says Erhabor

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Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country have been advised to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to grow their businesses.


Founder of AI Nigeria, Ehia Erhabor, stated this in a presentation titled “ Using AI for Business Innovation” delivered at the Ecobank MySME Growth Series webinar. During the presentation, he emphasised that AI is a game-changer for small businesses.


Erhabor highlighted the democratizing nature of AI, stating, “AI is rapidly transforming industries by automating processes, enhancing analytics, and enabling personalized customer experience. The future of AI is its democratization, where companies of all sizes, including SMEs, can harness its power to drive innovation and gain a competitive edge. SMEs are not just beneficiaries of this revolution, but integral players shaping the future of AI.”


He underscored AI’s transformative potential: “AI technology holds the key to the future. It is quite pervasive. It is part of our existence and will impact businesses in ways we can’t even imagine. It can catalyse the development of new products and services for SMEs by analysing data and identifying customers’ needs. Moreover, AI can automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and boost efficiency by reducing operational costs.”


The AI Nigeria boss listed the challenges and risks of AI as bias, explainability, privacy, transparency, and misuse, debunking claims in some quarters that AI will lead to the end of the world but rather be a tool for development.


Also speaking, former Chief Operating Officer of Flutterwave Bode Abifarin said AI technology holds the key to the future, explaining that it simulates human intelligence to perform complex tasks like research, decision-making, pattern recognition, and problem-solving.


She submitted that AI could improve customers’ experience and engagements for the SMEs, adding that the technology can personalise interactions, provide personalised recommendations and enhance customer service, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty for small businesses.


Ecobank MySME Growth Series started in February this year and is designed to empower SME operators nationwide. It is part of the bank’s commitment to train over 1 million SME operators in various sectors of the economy in 2024. The training will provide resources for starting a business, registration processes, industry statistics, and essential business business considerations. The series covers key areas such as accounting, credit, sales & marketing, taxation, and inventory management.


Additionally, articles on increasing sales, advertising ideas, business management practices, case studies, and leveraging technology will be provided. Ecobank also plans to launch an SME Mentorship program to collaborate with successful entrepreneurs. The MySME Growth Series reflects Ecobank’s dedication to fostering growth and success within the SME community.