The leading pan-African banking group, Ecobank Group, in partnership with Microsoft, LinkedIn, GitHub and Ecobank Academy is set to provide training to equip Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across sub-Saharan Africa. This training will provide SMEs digital skills and knowledge to succeed in today’s digital world.
SMEs have been significantly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic with its attendant lockdowns and disruptions to supply chains, plummeting sales, lost revenue and operational challenges. In response to feedback from our customers, Ecobank through its Commercial Banking Segment is helping business owners close the digital skills gap within their chosen fields and improve the digital capabilities of their employees.
Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Group Executive, Commercial Banking for the Ecobank Group said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has turbocharged the shift towards digital. It is essential that businesses adapt so that they are able to compete effectively in today’s rapidly changing landscape. Ecobank’s Commercial Banking is committed to supporting SMEs across our pan-African footprint. Through this partnership with Microsoft, LinkedIn, GitHub and Ecobank Academy we are offering training to equip business owners and their employees with the digital skills that they need to stay connected to their customers. We are intent on ensuring that our SME customers remain relevant, grow and succeed in the post COVID-19 era.”
SMEs have been invited to register here (https://bit.ly/3iEspdc)for the upcoming webinar taking place on July 26. The Global Skilling initiative program is available on an online portal where SMEs can register, and start their learning journey for any of the 10 in-demand skill sets (Customer Services; Digital Marketing; Financial Analysis; Graphic Design; IT Support/Help Desk; Project Management; Sales; Data Analysis; IT Administration; And Software Development). They can complete the virtual programme at their own pace and at times that work best for them. The programme runs until 31st of December 2021.
Ibrahim Youssry, Regional General Manager, Middle East and Africa – Multi market region at Microsoft said, “we are committed to building digital talent pipelines to support the workforce of the future, and our Global Skilling Initiative is an important part of this process. But beyond the future workforce, digital talent will also support more local innovation, as developers and entrepreneurs are empowered to create locally relevant solutions that best address the challenges and needs of African countries. Startups and SMEs play a critical role in innovation, economic growth and job creation, and expanded access to digital skills is one of the key steps needed to foster a successful economic recovery.”
The Global Skilling Initiative is just another example of how Ecobank wants to help SMEs reach their full potential and play a vital role in driving Africa’s economic resurgence. Other support initiatives for SMEs include:
- The Ecobank Marketplace eCommerce solution for businesses to grow their sales on digital marketplaces
- And the Ellevate programme to provide women-led/owned/focused businesses with loans, cash management solutions, training and mentoring opportunities.
Fidelity Bank To Develop SMEs Capacity in Non-oil Exports Sector
In furtherance of its resolve to help Nigerian businesses build sustainable export capabilities, leading Nigerian lender, Fidelity Bank Plc, is set to host the 11th and 12th editions of its highly acclaimed Export Management Programme (EMP).
Launched in 2016, the EMP is targeted at preparing participants for real-time experiences in the international non-oil export markets and the broader export market at large. The session typically covers a wide range of topics including Export documentation, Selection and Implementation of Supply Chain Management for Exports, Application of Export Development Business Processes amongst others.
Speaking on the programme, the Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe noted that, “As a leading supporter of small businesses, we introduced the EMP five years ago to bridge the knowledge gap in the export business locally and to help participants to compete effectively in the global export market. Given the success, we have recorded in the course of the programme and following the yearnings of potential participants, we decided to host an edition of the training in Kano for those who are unable to attend the session in Lagos.”
While EMP 11 is scheduled to hold at the Lagos Business School (LBS), Lekki, Lagos between 4 and 8 October 2021; EMP 12 would hold at a soon-to-be-announced venue in Kano State from 11 to 15 October 2021. The sessions would be facilitated by leading faculty from LBS, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) staff as well as experts in financial management and exports.
Fidelity Bank has over the years demonstrated its resolve to grow the non-oil export side of the economy through strategic initiatives and partnerships. For instance, the bank provided over N32.7 billion in credits to businesses operating in strategic sectors including rice, dairy, poultry, oil palm and cocoa in 2019. The bank has also successfully leveraged strategic partnerships with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) under various industry targeted intervention funding programmes to enhance access to credit for eligible players in the agribusiness and non-oil exports space with the aim of addressing food security gaps and enhancing foreign exchange earnings.
“The benefits of supporting the non-oil sector of the economy cannot be overemphasized given the immense benefits that it provides to the economy and the nation in terms of providing much needed foreign exchange investments, increasing our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment generation. This informs our decision to host the EMP regularly and we enjoin interested entrepreneurs to take advantage of this initiative to take their business to the next level,” Onyeali-Ikpe explained.
To register for the event, kindly visit www.fidelitybank.ng
About Fidelity Bank Plc
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria, with about 6million customers who are serviced across its 250 business offices and various other digital banking channels. The bank has in recent times won accolades as the Best SME Friendly Bank, Best in Mobile Banking and the Most Improved Corporate/Investment Bank among several industry awards and recognitions. The bank was also ranked the 4th Best Bank in the Retail Banking Segment in the 2017 Banking Industry Satisfaction Survey conducted by KPMG.
Focused on select niche corporate banking sectors as well as Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Fidelity Bank is rapidly implementing a digital-based retail banking strategy which has resulted in an exponential growth in savings deposits over the last 3 years and a corresponding surge in customer enrollment on the bank’s flagship mobile/internet banking products.
Standard Chartered Launches Flexible ‘Smart Business Loan’ Product To Support SMEs
Standard Chartered on Wednesday launched its Smart Business Loan (SBL) product to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) in Nigeria.
David Idoru, Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking, of the bank in Nigeria, said in a statement in Lagos that SBL was an unsecured installment/term loan available to SME clients within key target sectors.
“Qualified SMEs would be able to access up to N20million loan, without providing tangible security/collateral to purchase asset, finance business expansion and other capital expenditure needs.
“This loan was designed to help SMEs meet their short to medium-term needs.
“As a Bank, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the locations we operate in. This is done through offering cash, lending, trade and wealth management solutions that specifically drive economic growth,” he said.
Idoru said that the bank was constantly looking for ways to ensure SMEs get access to the needed support to enable their businesses to thrive, adding that prior to the product launch, clients were required to provide full collateral cover to access loans from the bank, but SBL had been designed to provide the necessary flexibility to the clients.
“It is accessible to new and existing clients of the Bank with no waiting period, including small and medium scale organisations, who can access up to N20million in loans without collateral for a maximum tenure of two years,” he said.
AfDB to Support Tech-Based MSMEs With $500M – VP. Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed to support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), especially technology-based ones with 500 million dollars in Nigeria.
Osinbajo disclosed this on Sunday at the 33rd Inaugural Lecture of Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun. The institution’s 33rd Inaugural Lecture was delivered by Oluseyi Oduyoye, Professor of Business Administration.
The title of the lecture is, “From Small Business to Big Business: A Future with Little Hope”. The vice president said that one of the things the Federal Government did with small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and afterward was the introduction of the MSMEs Survival Fund.
He explained, “the MSMEs Survival Fund gave almost a million businesses support after the pandemic.
“We paid three months salary of several of the MSMEs especially private schools such as-private primary schools, private secondary schools; we paid for teachers and also for several other businesses.
“I think the statistics will be useful, especially as you further research and work; and so much have been done.
“But as I keep saying, it is a large country; a very big country; in order to deal with all those issues and in order to support more businesses in a way that they ought to be supported, a lot more money is needed.
“And just one final point on that, the AfDB has agreed to support the government with 500 million dollars for MSMEs in technology in particular; so, we think this is something that will be very helpful in addition to the N75 billion, which the government has set aside for young people in small businesses.”
According to him, support for small businesses must continue as they are the future of the country. He said that the support given to MSMEs had brought hope, jobs and opportunities. Osinbajo commended also the Seventh Day Adventist Church for the investment it had made in education.
The vice president said that the church’s gesture was worthy of emulation for other religious organisations.
“The real work of ministering is a work of ministering to the people, especially those who cannot afford to do many of those things themselves.
“The work that the ministries did was the reason the likes of Oduyoye and I are here.
“Because our college (Igbobi College) was one that was founded by two Christian missions–the Anglican and Methodist missions–and they gave quality education at a cheap rate so that we were able to afford it and several of us were able to go to school and be the people we are today.
“So, I believe that it is very important that religious organisations see this as primary in all of the tasks and all of the things they choose to do.
“So, I want to commend the church for this and again, to congratulate dear brother and friend, Oduyoye,” he said.
Earlier, in his lecture, Oduyoye said that small businesses constituted a vibrant part of major economies of the world. He said that MSMEs were responsible for employing more than 47 percent of workers in the private sector in 2019.
He recommended that government at all levels, especially the Federal Government, should go the extra mile to support small businesses. Oduyoye said that insurance should be encouraged to mitigate the losses of small businesses.
In his opening remarks, Babcock University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ademola Tayo, said the lecture was in keeping with the tradition of the university in which new professors introduced their research work to the world. (NAN)
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