In a bid to further support small and medium scale enterprises, SMEs, Fidelity Bank Plc is set to launch its SME Funding Connect, a scheme that intend to connect business founders with funders.
Announcing the launch, the MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, who was represented by the Executive Director, Lagos and South West, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, stated that SMEs being the engine of the economy and contributing to 80% of the workforce in Nigeria cannot be ignored by Fidelity Bank.
According to Nneka, “we are bringing together Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors to meet with SMEs that need funds so as to provide them with longer term funding, which is also the cheapest available fund”.
SME Funding Connect is a scheme that is aimed at connecting business owners with source of funding other than the regular commercial loan which SMEs are finding too expensive. This scheme will host events in different states in Nigeria, where Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors meet with businesses that need funds to start-up or grow their businesses.
One of the major constraints of businesses in Nigeria, apart from poor infrastructure, multiple taxation and others, is lack of working capital, which has sent a huge chunk of SMEs out of business, but this ugly situation will be reduced with this unique innovation coming from Fidelity Bank.
Aside connecting founders with funders during this event, the scheme will also be disbursing about N12 million grant to five finalists who will go through a competitive screening process to be handled by PWC.
Portal for registration will be opened shortly.
For the premier, SME Funding Connect will be hosted first in Lagos on the 7th of August, 2019, followed by Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.