Nnamdi Okonkwo, group managing director, Fidelity Bank Plc, has identified lack of capacity as one of the major impediments to the growth and development of small scale businesses in the country. He said unstable government policies; lack of collateral to access loans, hostile business environment and funding remained a nightmare for aspiring businesses.
During the opening session of the entrepreneurship training workshop for small businesses organised in partnership with EMPRETEC, he said the bank had decided to wade in to ameliorate the challenges of SMEs through capacity enhancement following findings that lack of this accounted for over 80 per cent of the challenges facing small scale businesses.
Okonkwo, who was represented by Ndubuisi Onuoha, group head, specialised SMEs, Fidelity Bank Plc, said the bank had strong focus for the development of small scale entrepreneurs. He said the training programme would expose participants to the complexities of the business environment so their business would be able to contribute effectively to the growth of the economy.
“In Fidelity, we are very strong in SMEs and we have a lot of programmes being run for SMEs and we are partnering with Lagos Business School to encourage exports for our customers. This programme is to empower our entrepreneurs to make them better businessmen,” he said.
Okonkwo said the bank was committed to building sustainable small enterprises, noting that only 50 per cent of such enterprises survive beyond three years because of lack of capacity and funds which pose major challenges. “It doesn’t matter how much money they have, without capacity it will be lost.”