FirstBank has identified the SMEs as one of the major key audiences in the market and we want to support them. We believe that the SMEs are the drivers of the economy. They make the economy move and we support those who are seeing that vision ahead. By supporting them, we help them bring the whole value chain to life. The whole value chain from the Agric side to the processing, till it gets to the table. That was what we witnessed at the 2016 edition of Fiesta of Flavours. Food vendors adding value to raw Agric produce. The Fiesta of Flavours is an SME event, where micro SMEs come together to display their wares and show everyone what they have been able to do in their space.
Eventful, our partner, brought this out for the second time and we believe that food is the next oil. We know that the real oil is becoming like the past tense. We need to create diverse economy, a strong vibrant economy. We believe food can do that. From the farm to the table; SMEs are able to take the raw material and put in industrial capacity, turn it around.
They are creating tasty recipes from their Agric produce. All we want to do as a bank is to support all those visionaries, those SMEs who are seeing the future. What we are doing is supporting and giving them the appropriate platform to be able to bring their dreams to life and that’s why we have done this the second time.
Two Years of Fiesta of Flavours
2015 edition was the start and so it had some other elements that the 2016 edition did not have. We had training and capacity development in 2015 and then the fair. For the 2016 edition, what we did was a full fair. People registered online to attend and we saw them in their droves. I want to say the 2016 edition was a big success so was the 2015 edition.
FirstBank Sponsorship in 2017
Let me say that usually when we support events like this, we do like three times or so then we evaluate and decide again to move on. I think 2017 is a possibility.
Other Platforms for Food Discovery
We have another platform, one of our initiatives, Fiesta of Arts which we organised in partnership with Freedom Park. We usually do it once in a month. So, this month we could be doing the regular art. Some of other months we could do Food Art. We have shown people the photography of food; how they can use photography to bring food alive. We have done a lot of work like that and we have had mini fairs. Therefore, in the art world, in the business world, in the food world, we are just seeing the trend of how food brings everyone together. We can see the business of food is growing. It is for people to key into it and get the benefit of it.
Expansion to other States
Since our goal is to support SMEs, if the organisers of Fiesta of Flavours, plan to take it to another state, there is a possibility that we will support them. Food is part of what we believe in. It is possible as we go for new markets in other parts of the country.