Small-scale Enterprises development, which is a competence arena for Fidelity Bank has been further deepened by its partnership with Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs [AYE].
Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank’s managing director stated this in Lagos on Wednesday at a press briefing jointly organised with A.Y.E on youth empowerment.
He said his bank’s accomplishments in the area of SMEs banking is going to take a quantum leap with the establishment of partnership with A.Y.E, which has 12 million members across the African continent. It has been ranked the largest entrepreneurship network in the world.
A.Y.E is a reputed youth empowerment organisation that provides support to young entrepreneurs that come up with creative and innovative ideas. It is a non-profit organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa, which facilitates intra-trade among African entrepreneurs in 19 countries.
The organisation is committed to building the next generation of outstanding African entrepreneurs.
Its founder and president Mr. Summy Smart Francis commended Fidelity Bank for its distinguished role in SMEs development in a situation where banks generally constitute one of the frustrations to African entrepreneurs.
Smart urged banks to first try to understand the needs of entrepreneurs before they try to fashion products for them.
He demanded that banks should endeavour to keep their words to SMEs and stop unnecessary charges that frustrate small businesses. Entrepreneurship, he said, holds the key to the future of Nigeria’s economy.
Fidelity Bank’s partnership with AYE has been on since 2015, which both parties agree that the relationship has been beneficial to Nigeria in improving people’s lives.
Entrepreneurship development remaibed a passion for Fidelity Bank, according to Okonkwo.
He added that the bank had accomplished a lot in grooming SMEs into big corporate establishments.
“It is not just money but teaching them how to fish. It is about developing skills that make people stand on their own”, the Fidelity Bank’s boss said.
He said the bank is engaged in the entrepreneurship development work across the nation with the objective of stimulating productive processes that empower many people in a multiplier chain down the line. In this way, he said, Fidelity Bank is actively supporting the economic recovery and growth aspiration of the federal government.
Speaking further, Okonkwo expressed confidence in the creative ability of Nigerians, saying these talented people need to be given the opportunity to turn their ideas into bankable projects.
“The joy in that is great for us”, he said adding that trying to make it happen at a larger scale is the reason for the partnership with AYE.