GTCO Food and Drink Festival 2023BOOSTING SMEs
By – Yemisi Suleiman
With world class chefs delivering mouth-watering delicacies and instructive master classes, to classy grills, continental cuisines, cocktails, pastries, assorted drinks, and an open market packed full with various local delicacies, the annual GTCO Food and Drink Festival returned for its 6th Edition, giving food lovers across Africa and the world a feast like never before.
The event which held from Saturday April 29th till Monday May 1st 2023, at GTCentre, Victoria Island, Lagos, provided a 3-day weekend of food and endless celebration.
It brought together some of the greatest minds on the global culinary stage, with over two hundred vendor stalls where businesses were showcased to over 250,000 foodies in attendance, excited to explore the different foods on display. Of note, was the grill stand where attendees explored different delicacies of grilled foods.
Over the years, the GTCO Food & Drink Festival has evolved as one of the biggest food fairs in Africa, supporting the most industrious Nigerian small food business owners, by giving them more opportunities to connect with consumers from around the world.
This, is the core objective for providing this platform says Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Segun Agbaje.
“From our perspective, we believe the objective for the GTCO food and drink has been met. We create a platform for small businesses that we care about, to expose them to lots of people. We leave it to them to sell what they have, both in terms of goods and services, and raise awareness as well.
So, when we see the crowd, then we know the objective has been met.
While this may have translated to clients for the financial institution over the years, Mr. Agbaje maintains that the main objective remains to promote small businesses, at no cost If you look around, youll see that we dont have large corporations, we dont have large distributors. We have people, who are owners of small businesses, who are looking to grow businesses, so we dont really worry whether they become customers. I would love for them to be, but that is not the objective; the idea is to give back to society.
The event that holds at no cost to participants, drew business owners from all sectors of food and drink to trade.
CEO of Laredo Chops, Olanrewaju Jimoh, a regular participant since inception, came all the way from Toronto, Canada.
It is very interesting and a good experience for businesses. They promote SMEs which is a fantastic idea and I must say the bank is very innovative.
They actually revolutionized the banking industry in Nigeria, because some of the things we enjoy today, they introduced them, he said for Adebusola Adebanke of OAF Foods, the GTCO Food and Drink Festival provided opportunity for increasing her contacts. The experience has been healthy, it has been eye opening.
We made a lot of contacts and we are thankful to GTB for allowing us to showcase our products and we are glad that people like what we sell. So, it has been a worthy experience for us and we cant thank GTB enough. She told Allure.
With the banks unchanging commitment to promoting enterprise, which echoes the brands promise of creating great experiences of a lifetime, it is worthy to note that participants and attendees alike, have continued to look forward to the event yearly, which no doubt comes with inspiring new ways to experience life through food and drink.