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SMEs Constitute 80% of Nigeria’s Workforce – Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe - cfamedia
Credit: Techeconomy

In an event, held in Lagos on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, Fidelity Bank, in collaboration with Fund providers, announced SME funding Connect.

Speaking at the event, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Executive Director, Fidelity Bank, Lagos and South-West, Nigeria, mentioned Fidelity’s Bank’s commitment to Small and Medium Enterprises, (SMEs), while also mentioning that, the bank is known for its SME-friendly disposition to business owners.

Fidelity Bank, over the years, have established a relationship with SMEs and as a result, the bank has come up with an initiative, to assist its customer base.

She noted that, SMEs are the engine of any growing economy and according to SMEDAN, there are 40 million registered SMEs in Nigeria and it should be noted that, these SMEs, constitute 80% of the Nigeria workforce.

Considering this, Fidelity Bank, has stated its commitment to fund SMEs. Nneka noted that, SMEs face various challenges, such as poor infrastructure, multiple taxation, policy inconsistency and lack of capacity, (technical know-how and skills), but she emphasised that, lack of funding, still remains the biggest roadblock to SMEs success.

She acknowledged that, the commercial funding, is quite expensive for SMEs and the bank itself has assisted to cushion the effect, through the channels of Development Financial Institution, (DFI); Bank of Industry (BOI); Development Bank of Nigeria, (DBN) and Infrastructure Bank.

“We have decided, to organize a SME funding connect, to allow SMEs have access to funding providers, such as the Venture Capitalists, who will provide them with longer, cheaper and more stable available funds that they can get in the country”, stressed Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe

According to her, Fidelity Bank has taken the initiative to partner with fund providers, to ease funding availability for SMEs. Venture capitalists, angel investors and private equity fund firms, are set to collaborate with Fidelity Bank, to provide funds with long term and stability.

Fidelity Bank’s initiative, would bring the SME owners and funders, on a common platform, a result which would see the SME owners, access the cheapest funds available.

Featured Image

L-R: Osaigbovo Omorogbe, Divisional Head, Managed SMEs, Fidelity Bank Plc.; Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Executive Director, Lagos and South West, Fidelity Bank Plc,; Dr Andrew Nevin Advisory Partner & Chief Economist, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), at Fidelity SME Funding Connect Annoucement

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