Fidelity Bank: Supporting businesses, enhancing economic growth

Fidelity Bank Plc recognises the critical roles MSMEs play as vital agents of economic development and transformation

Nneka-Onyeali-Ikpe

Mr. Theophilus Nwankwo is an indigenous manufacturer who produces a wide range of plastic products in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. He recounts his experience and lessons learnt in his entrepreneurial journey. His business was forced to close after a large client placed a major order for his products.

Mr. Nwankwo needed a loan to purchase an advanced equipment to fulfil the large order, but it was 2021 and the country was still grappling with the economic recession occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fidelity Bank provided him with the funds he needed to keep his end of the bargain. Mr. Nwankwo is one of many Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) struggling to stay afloat.

According to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), SMEs in Nigeria have contributed about 48 percent of the national GDP in the last five years. With 17.4 million, they account for 84 percent of employment and nearly 90 percent of the manufacturing sector regarding the number of enterprises.

These figures notwithstanding, MSMEs remain largely bedeviled by a number of problems inhibiting them from reaching their potential with limited financing options being one of the main drawbacks they face.

Fidelity Bank’s mission to bridge the yawning capacity building gap and help SMEs in Nigeria build the necessary capacity for entrepreneurial success is evident across their various SME targeted products and services. They currently offer a suite of tailored offerings to position Nigerian SMEs for sustained business growth. These product offerings have resulted in tremendous success for the benefiting SMEs and also setting them up for sustainability. Some of these products include:

  1. The Fidelity SME Academy - a platform where prospective and existing customers enjoy free capacity building support services such as tailored one-on-one virtual business advisory services and access to business management capacity building programs with alliance partners. 
  2.  Fidelity SME Forum - The SME forum is a 30-minute experience and knowledge sharing radio and Instagram Live programme aimed at empowering Nigerian entrepreneurs with knowledge, know-how and expertise that will enable them to build successful businesses. The programme currently airs on Inspiration FM 92.3 in Lagos on Tuesdays live at 6:30 AM, with a repeat broadcast on Thursdays at 6:30 PM on the same station.
  3. Links to Outsourcing Service Providers - Fidelity Bank provides SMEs with access linkages to outsourcing services providers and shared services platforms that cover services such as technology services, software applications, website design & development, network infrastructure, social media, bookkeeping, accounting & internal control services, HR services, payroll management service, audit services amongst others.

In line with their avowed desire to be the go-to bank for funding and allied support for SMEs powering the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, they have paved easy access to low-interest credit facilities with flexible collateral requirements. Some of these bespoke financing/loan products include:

  • Fidelity EduLoan Offering (for schools)
  • Fidelity Private Medical Support Scheme (for hospitals)
  • Fidelity Pharmacy Support Scheme (for pharmacies)
  • The Commercial Support Short Term Loan (for traders)
  • Traders Support Facility
  • The Commercial Support Overdraft (CSO)
  •  The Fidelity Distributors’ Finance Scheme (for distributors of Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies).

Nigerian SMEs hold the potential to contribute significantly to the growth of the economy. It is therefore imperative that adequate support in terms of finance is provided, with the aim of unlocking the further growth and expansion of this sector in Nigeria.

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