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Fidelity Bank To Develop SMEs Capacity in Non-oil Exports Sector

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Fidelity Bank SMEs Capacity-Investors King

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.

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SMEs

USAID Trade Hub Partners ShEquity to Support Over 100 African Women Entrepreneurs

USAID, ShEquity to invest and support more than 100 high-potential women-owned businesses with a sum of $1.2m

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United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Trade Hub, West Africa Trade & Investment Hub has partnered with an African Investment Hub, ShEquity to invest and support more than 100 high-potential women-owned businesses with a sum of $1.2m.

The businesses targeted will operate in one of six key sectors: agribusiness, healthcare, tech-enabled solutions, renewable energy, mobility, and fast-moving consumer goods.

“Women entrepreneurs are integral for Africa’s success, as they operate more than 40 percent of small and medium-sized businesses on the continent. However, African women entrepreneurs face the hurdle of collectively growing these businesses due to $42bn less in financing than their male counterparts,” Founder and Managing Director of ShEquity, Pauline Koelbl stated.

Koelbl added that if Africa is to reach its full economic potential, smart investment for African women entrepreneurs needs to be dramatically increased. “The lack of financing, combined with insufficient business support, put potential women entrepreneurs and those seeking to expand their already successful businesses in a growth deficit or low-income trap, widening the gender gap and reinforcing negative biases,” he said.

The partnership between ShEquity and USAID Trade Hub will focus on challenges facing Africa by bringing cash investment, structured technical support, and access to high-value networks.

As for ShEquity, it will generate at least $15m in private funding that will in turn be used to “invest, upscale and accelerate women-owned or led businesses operating in Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, and Niger.”

Also, through this partnership, ShEquity will provide business development services and technical support to 120 women-owned or led businesses in the target markets and also select 12 high-growth, high-impact businesses that will each receive at least $50,000 in venture capital funding.

The combined investments in the 12 selected companies are expected to create at least 200 jobs and benefit around 20,000 people economically either directly or indirectly, along their respective value chains, through 2024.

According to Koelbl, ShEquity’s current portfolio of companies has impacted more than 13.5 million people across Sub-Saharan.

Koelbl stated: “We are excited about the future, as we hope to see more action towards democratizing access to capital and closing the gender funding gap in Africa. Backing female-led funds is the best strategy to address gender funding gap because of its trickle-down effect: more diversity in capital allocators translates into diversity of businesses getting funded,” he continued.

The USAID Trade Hub’s partnership with ShEquity represents its commitment to ensuring more women in West Africa have the access to finance, resources, and knowledge needed to grow their businesses and speed economic development in the region.

ShEquity has since invested in eight businesses in Sub-Saharan countries. Since the launch, ShEquity has been investing as a special vehicle purpose and is now in the process of formalizing into a venture capital fund structure.

 

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SMEs

Bank of Industry Disburses N213.63bn to Over 30,000 Businesses in 2021

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The Bank of Industry (BOI) has revealed that it disbursed a total of N213.63 billion to 30,406 businesses in Nigeria in the 2021 financial year.

The Managing  Director of BOI, Olukayode Pitan disclosed this at the 62nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank on Thursday in Abuja. He said that the bank was able to successfully scale up its developmental impacts in 2021 despite the challenges and limitations caused by COVID-19.

Pitan said “at the peak of COVID-19 in 2020, the bank took steps to support customers with a two per cent reduction in interest rates for a year alongside an extension of loan tenors and moratoriums. He said that the operating environment improved in 2021 and that is the reason they have decided to extend the incentives until March 31, 2022.”

He added that all ongoing projects were reviewed to assess emerging risks and opportunities and also additional support was provided.

“In the year under review, the bank disbursed a total of N213.63 billion to 30,406 Nigerian enterprises through both direct and indirect methods. This represents a 47.3 per cent increase over disbursements in 2020.

“The 2021 disbursements include N2.99billion to 22,120 farmers through our smallholder  farmers on  lending product and one billion Naira to 4,000 micro-retailers through our MSMEs distributor finance programme.

“At BoI, we have since taken measures to ensure that our systems, processes and people are continuously equipped to meet the evolving business environment.

“Today, we are a more agile and adaptive institution,  able to provide the necessary developmental support for Nigeria’s real sector in an ever-changing economy.

“Our commitment to building a resilient organisation that can respond to the needs of our customers and operating challenges is unwavering.

“We strongly believe that we can achieve this with the continuous support of the stakeholders.” he further said. 

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Edo State to Promote Tech-business for MSMEs

Edo Cares is set to promote Small and Medium enterprises in the state

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The Edo state government through its newly launched programme, Edo Cares is set to promote Small and Medium enterprises in the state.

According to the report by the media, the Managing Director, Edo State Skills Development Agency, EdoJobs, Ukinebo Dare said “an emergency state-level intervention programme, is designed to support micro and small enterprises in Edo State affected by the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Speaking at the launching of the grants, Dare stated that the programme which was domesticated in Edo State from the Federal Government and World Bank partnership on COVID-19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES),

The programme will provide succour for Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) impacted by the pandemic in the country.

She said that under the Edo-Cares programme, business owners are now able to access grants for their business development and support.

“To grow their businesses and contribute to the state’s economic development,” she added.

The Edo state government has, however, advised the beneficiary of the programme to take full advantage of the initiative as a means to better their lives in terms of human capacity development, Investors King understands.

She added that the business support grants will be provided in form of credit grants, operational grants, and IT development grants, to enlarge and promote their businesses to enhance the economic viability of the state.

“Business owners can gain access to technology tools such as e-commerce website, POS, computers, mobile applications, under the IT Enhancement grant category, and business supplies, rent, salaries, utilities, solar panels, under the Operational grant category.

Also, the Credit grant category where business owners can gain access to funds to pay off existing loans,” she submitted.

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