The bank also said it will continue to build sustainable business relationship with SME operators and increase its funding for agriculture and medical segments of the economy.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nnamdi Okonkwo, who made the disclosures at the bank’s regular programme on Inspiration FM, tagged: “SME Forum,” pointed out that the move was strategic in the bank’s plan to raise a number of entrepreneurs.
“When we started this SME Forum, the whole idea was to bring entrepreneurs who have succeeded to share their experience and help others make their business better. “We have partnered with Lagos Business School and Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC)to give people knowledge about how to export. Now, we are speaking with players in the entertainment industry and I am sure that we would soon build another sub-segment that would lead to a different game altogether,” he said.
He said the bank’s approach is not all about “ready-made” companies, but helping to grow start-ups and building relationships, not about how much one has, but about track record of business dealings and propositions, even if the person does not at present bank with Fidelity.
“That is why we have the Managed SME Unit in the bank. A businessman who has his idea, done his proposal, his cash flows and bought some equipment, but just need a little support to start it off will get it from us. In fact, we would handhold you and give you all the support we have,” he added.
Okonkwo urged entrepreneurs on the need to keep proper accounting records to make it easier for them to access loans from financial institutions.
He said the bank also supports faith-based organisations and that the lender supports good business ideas which can come from any sector of the economy.
He said the bank is also heavily supportive of the agriculture sector, adding that it is working closely with Ebonyi, Kebbi and Anambra state governments to promote rice farming and other agriculture value-chain that would boost the non-oil segments of the economy.