First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has restated its commitment to the productivity and profitability of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) through funding, capacity building, advisory and other forms of support that would boost their overall contributions to economic development.
FCMB, which is rated as the number one Bank for SMEs in Nigeria in the latest Banking Industry Customer Experience Survey report by KPMG, gave the assurance at a free and comprehensive capacity building and empowerment programme it organised for women entrepreneurs in Ogun State, in partnership with the Office of the First Lady of the State, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, on February 5, 2020.
The programme, themed, “Supporting Women Businesses to Scale Up in 2020’’ and under the auspices of FCMB’s SME Advisory and SheVentures initiative for women entrepreneurs, was attended by hundreds of existing and start-up entrepreneurs across Ogun State, seasoned professionals from the Bank of Industry (BoI), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), among others. It focused on business and skills development, marketing, finance, taxation, cost and revenue management, business plan writing, in addition to other topical issues.
Speaking at the opening session, the Executive Director, Business Development of FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith, said the Bank recognises the increasing role and impact of SMEs, especially women-owned ones. According to her, ‘’it is a fact that in Nigeria, several women have risen through various challenges to become top entrepreneurs. Through resilience and innovation, they have taken the front seat in driving growth in this sector and by extension the larger economy. However, we believe that women can do better in the SMEs ecosystem if provided with the requisite skills and other resources.’’.
Mrs. Smith added that, “as the number one Bank for SMEs in Nigeria, we have built a strong base in this segment by consistently offering various cutting-edge solutions under our key pillars of support, which are, access to capital, capacity building, advisory services, networking opportunity and technology. We are excited that these interventions have tremendously impacted individuals, businesses and the nation’s economy, especially through job and wealth creation.”.
She expressed gratitude to the Ogun State Government and the Office of the First Lady for providing the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, while urging the participants to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the training.
In her keynote address, the First Lady of Ogun State, Mrs. Abiodun, said, ‘’as a firm believer in initiatives that focus on boosting the economic capacity of women and offering both financial and non-financial support to women-owned enterprises, I consider this programme as a step in the right direction. I was excited when I was informed about the FCMB SheVentures initiative. Financial empowerment remains one of the most important means of eradicating poverty among women in the developing world, as seen in Bangladesh, Kenya and Nigeria’’.
She added that, “we have had numerous empowerment programmes in Nigeria. Many were driven by capacity building programmes followed by loans and grants to women to start-up businesses. However, studies have shown that these initiatives, while having some value failed to reach their full potential because of one missing ingredient, which is financial education as a vehicle to actualise the full value of any business venture. And here today, FCMB through its efforts to ensure that women owned businesses in Ogun state and Nigeria as a whole are not left out in the development of the nation’s economy, has delivered this very much sought after Financial Education to us on a first class level amongst an array of financial solutions’’.
FCMB provides numerous offerings to SMEs in Nigeria, including FCMB SME Advisory Services through market intelligence, technical assistance support and access to intervention funds in partnership with Development Financial Institutions. There is also the FCMB SheVentures initiative, which provides enhanced support to women-owned SMEs through access to finance, training and mentoring with the unique benefit of zero-interest rate for an initial period of three months. So far, over 2000 women entrepreneurs have benefitted from this.
The Bank has also automated and digitized its lending process for SMEs through the FCMB Quickloans platform. Since the launch of the platform in July 2019, over N10billion unsecured loans have been disbursed to SME customers within three to twenty-four hours of each application.
For more information about FCMB, please visit www.fcmb.com.
See pictures from the event below:
Ecobank Nigeria to host Regional Trade Forum 2020
Ecobank Nigeria is set to host its 2020 Regional Trade Forum in Lagos.
It gathered that the forum taking place in March, will be a two-day event, providing the opportunity for exporters and importers within the African region to exhibit their products in a marketplace scenario with panel discussions by highly experienced and diversified stakeholders and leaders of thought in the industry.
Ecobank Nigeria is a member of the pan African banking group with unparalleled Africa wide Network Advantage across 33 countries catering for businesses and providing world class trade services to its customers. The Ecobank Group network has over 30 years been enhancing the financial integration of the continent. The Group provides solutions to facilitate trade in the various trade corridors and groupings across Africa
Announcing the Trade Forum in Lagos, Sunday Abah, Head Trade Finance of Ecobank Nigeria said Ecobank is using the forum to unveil its comprehensive trade solutions to its existing and prospective customers alike by sharing the various payment methods available to facilitate cross border trade throughout its network across Africa. According to him, Ecobank recognizes the role of exporters and importers in driving economies through trade.
“By creating a networking forum for importers and exporters via the trade exhibition slated for the first day of the forum, the Bank extends support to stakeholders in export and import businesses.
“Ecobank’s trade products and solutions are designed around two broad areas: Trade finance which enables customers benefit from adequate and well mitigated credit facilitation in the area of Import finance, export finance, bill discounting, trade loans, distributor finance, structured trade and commodity finance amongst others; also we do Trade Services, which gives our customers the advantage of speedy turnaround time and error free processing of Import Letters of Credit, Import collections, Customs bonds, Export collections and regional trade services amongst others,” he noted.
Ecobank’s unique intra-Africa trade solutions enable settlements of trade transactions and mitigation of payment risk; provide regional solutions and enable exporters obtain payment guarantees without the need for a letter of credit and its related costs to the importer. Ecobank works closely with clients in reviewing key factors regarding transactions processing, settlements, financing, and risk mitigation as well as credit enhancement. The bank boasts of a unique and large Pan-African platform that positions it to support trade at all levels. Its technology platform is designed to help unlock the opportunities of the continent through standardization across 33 countries, while fueling regional integration, trade and investment across borders.
The Ecobank Africa Trade Forum is expected to attract hundreds of guests and participants. Leaders from across Ecobank Group will also be attending to share their market specific trade knowledge and information.
Richard Quest Visit Management Of Fidelity Bank Plc
CNN Anchor, Richard Quest, paid a courtesy visit on the Management of Fidelity Bank Plc on Monday, February 12. During the visit, he engaged the team on several issues including SME lending and leveraging digital channels to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Fidelity Bank Trains 200 Sokoto Varsity Students in Skill Acquisition
Fidelity Bank Plc and Gazelle Academy have trained 200 undergraduates of Sokoto State University (SSU) in the acquisition of skills in fashion design, handsets repair, cocktail and make up.
Speaking at an event in Sokoto Monday, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Nwankwo, represented by the bank’s Head of Recruitment, Chris Nnawe, said the programme under Fidelity Youth Empowerment Academy Stream 7 (YEa7) is part of the bank’s cooperate social responsibility.
“We in Fidelity bank have targeted programmes on education, environment and youth empowerment. This one you are witnessing today is part of fulfilling our promises to the society,” he said.
Nwankwo said that the programme started in 2016 at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, stressing that since then the bank and its partner, Gazelle Academy, have visited more than five higher institutions in the country, as this one is stream 7 of the programme.
According to him, youths were trained to acquire some skills to enable them to be self reliant and also make them to be employers of labour even while in school.
He disclosed that at the end of the training, start packs will be given to each participant to aid him/her to start something of their own, adding that after the undergraduates’ education, they can seek for soft loans from the Small, Medium Enterprise (SMEs) Department of the bank.
On her part, the founder of Gazelle Academy, Mrs Muna Unuozo, said the programme was aimed at equipping the students with skills that they could use while still in school or after graduation.
She said that with the knowledge of the skill acquired, they could fend for themselves even while in school.
Speaking at the event, the Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Waziri Tambuwal thanked Fidelity Bank and Gazelle Academy for chosing the school for the programme.
Tambuwal said that as a responsible government, his administration have prioritized the welfare of the youths in the state.
He enjoined the participants to be focused and concentrate in order to benefit from the training.
Earlier, the Vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Sani Dangogo, thanked Fidelity Bank and Gazelle Academy for the benevolent gesture, saying the training will go a long way in alleviating the financial burden of the students.
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