“Our approach is total as we nurture Small to Medium Enterprises through our academy and SME centre that provides advisory services,” Ken Opara, head of managed SMEs at Fidelity Bank told CNBC Africa.
Often Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) see funding as the major challenge and Fidelity Bank says it has observed that most collapse within five years after being set up, so to sustain their lifespan the financial institution is assisting with structural aspects.
“Through our advisory services the SMEs have come to realise that it is not only about funding but also knowing the direction of where the enterprise is headed, having a business plan in place and also proper financial records,” he added.
“We also provide access to business wisdom, access to markets and access to how they can do their business at the barest minimum cost.”
The commercial bank also said it has started addressing the SMEs as a cluster not as individual business units.
Fidelity Bank is targeting to assist 1,000,000 SMEs in the country by the end of the year.
(WATCH VIDEO: Approaches for funding SMEs in Nigeria)
Some of the sectors set to benefit from the extended lending facility are in the agriculture, retail value chain, consumer moving goods, information and technology and also food and beverage industry.
About 96 per cent of Nigeria businesses are SMEs, this demonstrates the critical role that such businesses have to the national economy.
According to the Financial Strategy 2020 document, SMEs represent about 90 per cent of the manufacturing industrial sector in terms of number of enterprises contributing about 1 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product.
Nigerian’s SMEs employs about 25 million people in the formal economy.
BY: TRUST MATSILELE