On Tuesday, November 28, BNI Business Elite Region in Lagos successfully launched one of the newest chapters in the organization, the BNI Sapphire Chapter, in a grand ceremony that attracted several professionals and business executives both within and outside the country. This event marked a significant milestone for BNI Nigeria as it brings the number of chapters in the country to 12.
The chapter launch brought together enthusiastic individuals passionate about business growth and collaborations. The chapter inauguration proceedings was divided into two segments: the chapter inauguration and an abridged BNI meeting, both meticulously organized to ensure a seamless and an impactful event.
BNI (www.bni.com) is a business and professional networking organization whose primary purpose is to help members grow their business, clients, revenue and profitability through qualified referrals and business networking. The organization presently has over 11,145 chapters throughout the world. In the last twelve months alone, members of BNI passed over 13.1 million referrals which generated over $22.1 billion (i.e. N22 Trillion @ N1,000/$) worth of business.
Established in 1985 and with chapters in 80 countries, BNI has grown to become a force for growing businesses and fighting recession. Forbes ranks BNI as the number private sector organization that every business professional should belong to anywhere in the World. In its ranking, SBA and SCORE, which are government sponsored organizations for SMEs in the USA and the UK, were ranked numbers 1 and 2 respectively. Invariably, this places BNI as the number one private sector led organization for business executives and professionals.
What makes BNI such a unique organization is its non compete and exclusivity policy that allows only one person per business classification to be in a chapter. In addition, BNI does not allow politics and religion in its chapters whilst at the same promoting its core philosophy of Givers’ Gain.
BNI Sapphire Chapter is made up of growth focused and positive minded business owners and professionals who not only want to grow their respective businesses, but also are desirous of helping others grow and contribute to the GDP and employment of Nigerians. They are, as described by BNI, master business connectors.
The chapter launch event kicked off with a networking session moderated by Mrs. Taiwo Odewenwa, CEO of Seed Royal Travels. The session provided a platform for all the participants to introduce themselves, share experiences and connect for business referral exchanges.
The Executive Director of BNI Business Elite Region, and CEO of Adequate Alliance Assurance Brokers Limited, Mr. Tom Ebong, gave an inspiring opening speech on the theme ‘About Us’. He spoke about the quality of members of the chapter, their passion, goals and targets for 2024 and how the chapter will contribute positively to business growth in the community and State. The chapter, he said has a goal of N35 million seat value for each member and expanding to have every professional classification and business sector represented.
Mrs. Omu Obilor, Executive Director BNI Nigeria and CEO of OMU Consulting, spoke on BNI Benefits to The Business Community. According to her, BNI brings increased business referrals, increased and enhanced revenue and profitability, local and global business connections with BNI members from across Nigeria and in the 80 countries that BNI has operations, training and business education and leadership opportunities in the chapter, region and country.
Inaugurating the chapter and the its leadership team made up of seven passionate and inspiring business professionals, Mr. Omu Obilor reminded them of the seven core values of BNI and enjoined them to exemplify the core core values in their dealings with fellow members and with others. These core values, namely: Givers’ Gain, Building Relationships, Life Long Learning, Traditions+Innovation, Positive Attitude, Accountability and Recognition she stated, are at the core of BNI existence and success
The executive director, Mr. Tom Ebong, introduced the President of the new Chapter, Mr. Ben Obileke, who conducted an abridged chapter meeting. At the end, about 20 of the guests signed up to join BNI Sapphire Chapter, establishing a strong foundation for collaboration, networking, and business growth within and outside the BNI community. According to Mr. Ebong, “the collective efforts of the members of BNI Sapphire Chapter, the leadership team, esteemed speakers, and enthusiastic participants has contributed to an insightful and engaging chapter launch event, setting a promising trajectory for the newly inaugurated chapter’s future endeavors”.