A few days ago, it was announced by Fidelity Bank that its alliance with PwC Nigeria, a tax and advisory service company, has yielded a platform that will fund over 3000 SMEs with NGN 12 Mn.
Via an initiative called Fidelity Small and Medium Enterprises Funding Connect Series, the bank will be providing a plethora of small and growing businesses in Nigeria with the financial support they need to get off the ground.
At the grand finale, Fidelity Bank will be handing out cash prizes to three businesses that will meet set out requirements. While the grand prize is set at NGN 2 Mn, the first and second runner-ups will be given NGN 1 Mn each.
Information following this development says that more than 3000 SMEs will be participating in the scheme, which is aimed at bridging the funding gap. Executive Director, Shared Services and Products, Chijioke Ugochukwu, stated that the event will have three series, one each in Kano, Port Harcourt and Lagos.
According to her, 3000 SMEs will be connected with 60 different investors and 60 entrepreneurs. There will be six breakout sessions organized to enable these businesses network with each other and with investors, while building their capacities.
SMEs Funding Connect Series will kick off in Lagos, Nigeria’s busiest city, on August 7, 2019. The drawing board of the event hinged heavily on funding, as Ugochukwu says Fidelity Bank has taken cognizance of the fact that lack of financial assistance is taking its toll on businesses operating within the country, save capacity drawbacks.
Fidelity Bank, with PwC, is trying to create a platform where the supply and demand sides of the equation would intersect. “Supply meaning the fund providers while the demand side means the founders/entrepreneurs”.
With an arguable 50 percent contribution to Nigeria’s GDP, SMEs are the lifeblood of the country’s economy. Fidelity Bank has been financially supporting these enterprises for long, and the initiative started 15 years ago.
“For us, these SMEs have to be ready to take their businesses to the next level, and whatever it is, we are involved in helping them to do that,” Ms Ugochukwu said.