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Banking Sector

Fidelity Partners ImpactHER to Empower 1,052 Female Entrepreneurs with Sales Skills

Fidelity Bank, a leading financial institution in Nigeria, has collaborated with ImpactHER to support 1,052 female entrepreneurs across the 36 states of Nigeria in addressing the challenges they face in their small and medium-sized businesses.

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Fidelity Bank, a leading financial institution in Nigeria, has collaborated with ImpactHER to support 1,052 female entrepreneurs across the 36 states of Nigeria in addressing the challenges they face in their small and medium-sized businesses.  Through diverse training on digital skills and direct business support, beneficiaries from two cohorts have been able to improve visibility for their businesses and consequently, increase sales.

The training, which commenced in January 2022, has had two cohorts that lasted for four weeks each, covering a myriad of topics such as Digital  marketing, building your brand and selling online, etc. The participants were also assisted in putting their businesses on Google Maps, thus allowing customers and the global market to easily find and transact business with them.

Commenting on the partnership, Osita Ede, Divisional Head, Product Development at Fidelity Bank Plc said, “It has become  imperative that female entrepreneurs in Africa are empowered to  overcome the lack of digital literacy which impedes them from fully  reaping the benefits of the digital transformation underway across  Africa, and the world. We believe providing them this access will help them to thrive in their different businesses.”

According to Efe Ukala, Founder of ImpactHER, “Statistically, women  and girls are 25 per cent less likely to leverage digital technology for  basic purposes, 4 times less likely to know how to programme  computers and 13 times less likely to file for technology patents. This  therefore highlights the importance of equipping African women with  digital skills that could be leveraged to scale their businesses. Let’s not  forget that data shows that Africa can add 180 billion Dollars to its  GDP by 2025 if we close the e-commerce digital gap.”

This intervention is critical as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor for  2019/2020 highlighted that millions of women worldwide have started businesses over the last five years alone: the highest percentage of  these women live in Africa, with approximately 26% of female adults  engaged in entrepreneurial activity yet the World Bank confirms  through data collected in ten African countries that on average,  male-owned companies have six times more capital than female owned enterprises, resulting in monthly profits of female-owned  enterprises that are, on average, 38% lower than male-owned  businesses.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

The bank boasts of a robust bouquet of products designed to help female-led small businesses run successfully including digital loans and HerFidelity -a proposition comprising exciting features such as capacity development initiatives, access to finance, recognition and networking events, health and wellness programmes, etc, all designed to speak to the yearnings of women.

Clementina Uzogor, the Programs Director at ImpactHER, highlighted  the importance of helping women with skills like this to take their  businesses to the next level. “At ImpactHER, it is our mission to ensure  that we equip these women with tools for their businesses to thrive”,  she explained.

She also appreciated Fidelity Bank for working with them to ensure the  programme was successful and impactful. “It is important to let you  know that this is not the end of this training. We will be deepening our  partnership with Fidelity to train and support 5,000 more women-led  small and medium sized businesses in the country before the year runs  out”, she divulged.

An excited participant from the second cohort, Ms Akinyemi  Oluronke, a fashion designer from Lagos underscored the benefits of  joining the training for her business, “I’ve been able to build an online  presence, people now know my business exists and I get a lot of calls  from people who found my business online. I am very grateful for this  platform and the overall increase in sales I now enjoy.”

According to Carine Nneka Achokwu, another participant from the  January 2022 cohort and CEO of Carine Bakery, a company that  produces pastries and cakes in Lagos, Nigeria, “I have been able to  increase sales by 40% after using the tools that was provided to me  such as “Google My Business” and people have been calling to order  from me and I’ve also been able to reach more customers. I am  thankful that I can get people to patronize my business just by tapping  my phone based on the knowledge I acquired at this training.”

ImpactHER is an impact-driven nonprofit organization that empowers  African female entrepreneurs by bridging the gender business  financing gap so as to assist them in realizing their full economic  potential. ImpactHER has since its inception trained, directly supported with investor-readiness and  business scalability skills & tools to over 44, 275 women across 53 countries in Africa.

This partnership also provides follow-up training and support for the  participants and is one of the ways ImpactHER and Fidelity Bank help  these women scale up their offerings.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Banking Sector

FirstBank Commemorates 2022 Customer Service Week

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider has announced its commemoration of the 2022 edition of the Customer Service Week scheduled to be globally celebrated on 3 – 7 October 2022. 

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider has announced its commemoration of the 2022 edition of the Customer Service Week scheduled to be globally celebrated on 3 – 7 October 2022. 

The event themed: “Celebrating Service” will be marked across its FBNBank subsidiaries in over half a dozen countries which include FBNBank UK, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Senegal, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank DRC and FBNBank Sierra Leone.

Customer Service Week is an international celebration that highlights the importance of customer service and staff who serve and support customers daily to deliver exceptional service to customers.

The Bank’s celebration of the 2022 Customer Service Week will include several activities considered integral to promoting a relaxed atmosphere whilst extending its participation to everyone, irrespective of where they are. The activities include virtual engagement of customers on its social media handles: firstbanknigeria on Instagram; First Bank of Nigeria Limited on Facebook; First Bank of Nigeria Limited on LinkedIn and @FirstBankngr on Twitter. 

Others are a video booth and photo frame funfair, then a Virtual Party on the Friday of the weeklong event and a movie date for staff.

Through the last 128 years of its operations, FirstBank has played a leading role in utilizing its robust customer service network and digital banking architecture to support its customers – cutting across diverse cultures, tribes and races beyond the shores of Nigeria – in meeting their individual and business needs. The Bank achieves this through its innovative, interactive, self-service banking platforms like *894# Quick Banking mobile solution, FirstMobile banking application, Firstmonie Agents, FirstOnline internet banking, WhatsApp banking, and ATM amongst many others. The Bank’s electronic banking channels are constantly updated with new and exciting features to expose customers to exemplary services and experience to put them at an advantage in the industry.

According to Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, FirstBank “for us at FirstBank, celebrating service, the theme of the 2022 edition of the Customer Service Week is a reflection of our brand mantra “You First”. This reiterates the essence of our existence since 1894, centred on putting You, our customers First as we continue to support individuals and businesses to impact the economy.

With our dynamic and vibrant human-led and digital-led customer services operations, we remain committed to rendering the gold standard of services to our customers and stakeholders regardless of where they may be across the globe” she concluded.

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Banking Sector

Fidelity Bank Collaborates With SMEDAN, Seeks to Enhance SMEs Access to Fund

Fidelity Bank has partnered with the Small And Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) to bridge the funding gap in small businesses in Nigeria

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Nigerian commercial bank, Fidelity Bank has partnered with the Small And Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) to bridge the funding gap in small businesses in Nigeria.

At a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony recently held in Lagos, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity bank Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe who was represented by Executive Director, Lagos and South-West Dr. Ken Opara, disclosed that the partnership with SMEDAN reinforces the fact that the bank is a leading supporter of SMEs in Nigeria.

Her words, “For us at Fidelity Bank, supporting SMEs is in our DNA and for more than two decades, we have been creating multiple platforms to help them thrive.

“These include the numerous products we have pioneered, our collaboration with the Lagos Business School to host the Export Management Programme, the Fidelity SME Academy, and our weekly SME Forum radio program successful business owners and SMEDAN share tips on running thriving ventures with listeners.

“This partnership is therefore another step in our journey of helping entrepreneurs grow and compete favorably in any market they operate and we are very happy to have SMEDAN join us.”

Also, the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya expressed gratitude to Fidelity Bank for facilitating the partnership, emphasizing that the MOU was particularly significant not just to the Agency but to the MSMEs ecosystem.

He said, “Fidelity Bank is one of the few commercial banks in Nigeria that have shown immense interest in providing support to the large MSME community. I am very aware of some of your products purposely designed to serve the MSMEs.

“This explains why the Agency is very excited entering into this relationship that we believe will help change the narratives of the sub-sector”.

Knowing that SMEs are the backbone of any economy, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has on several occasions launched different initiatives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country to help boost sales and enhance capacity building.

On the other hand, Fidelity Bank has continued to play a pivotal role in the development of SMEs in the country by offering numerous support through partnerships with different firms and agencies.

It should be recalled that in June 2022, Investors King reported that Fidelity bank partnered with impactHER a non-profit organization, to empower 1,052 female entrepreneurs with sales skills in Nigeria.

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Banking Sector

Shareholders Approve Restructuring, Change of Name For Sterling Bank

Shareholders of Starling Bank have approved its conversion from a core banking business to a holding company like GTCO, Access Bank, FBN Holding, etc.

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Shareholders of Starling Bank have approved its conversion from a core banking business to a holding company.

The shareholders also approved the bank’s proposed change of name to reflect its new businesses and core values.

Investors King learnt Sterling Bank will operate as a holding company with the name Sterling Financial Holding Company.

It should be recalled that at a meeting held last week, shareholders agreed to transfer their investment into Sterling Financial Holding Company which will enable the new company to venture into other sectors within financial services.

According to a statement released by the bank, shareholders believed that the decision to transform the lender bank into a holding company will enhance operations and pave the way to make the company a dominant force in the financial market. 

Under the new arrangement, shareholders will exchange their shares in the Bank for shares in HoldCo in the same proportion as their current holdings in the Bank. 

In addition, the new company, Sterling Financial Holding Company will be registered as a public company and Sterling Bank Plc will be delisted from the Daily Official List of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) while the new company (Sterling Financial Holding Company) will be listed in its stead. Sterling Bank will subsequently be a subsidiary which will be re-registered as a private limited liability company. 

Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Lagos, Sterling Bank operates within four areas of banking which include Retail and Consumer Banking, Commercial Banking, Institutional Banking and Corporate Banking. 

Chairman of Sterling Bank, Mr Asue Ighodalo explained that the transition into a holding company will enhance diversification into other permissible business lines,  thereby promoting growth and enriching shareholder value while it will also consolidate the financial strength of the group. 

Sterling bank will be joining a group of commercial banks such as United Bank of Africa (UBA), Access Bank, First Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) and others which have changed names to holding companies.

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