In what has been termed a major move to bridge the gap in helping small businesses access much needed funding and capacity development initiatives, leading financial institution Fidelity Bank Plc has announced a strategic partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN).
At a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony held in Lagos recently, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said the partnership reinforces the fact that the bank is a leading supporter of SMEs in Nigeria.
“For us at Fidelity Bank, supporting SMEs is in our DNA and for more than two decades we have been creating multiple platforms to help them thrive. These include the numerous products we have pioneered for the sector, our collaboration with the Lagos Business School to host the Export Management Programme, the Fidelity SME Academy and our weekly SME Forum radio programme where we have had successful business owners and even SMEDAN share tips on running thriving ventures with listeners.”
“This partnership is therefore another step in our journey of helping entrepreneurs grow and compete favorably in any market they operate and we are very happy to have SMEDAN join us”, commented Onyeali-Ikpe who was represented by the Executive Director, Lagos and South-West, Fidelity Bank, Dr Ken Opara.
On his part, Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya thanked Fidelity Bank for facilitating the partnership emphasizing that the MOU was particularly significant not just to the Agency but to the MSMEs ecosystem.
“Fidelity Bank is one of the few commercial banks in Nigeria that have shown immense interest in providing support to the large MSME community. I am very aware of some of your products purposely designed to serve the MSMEs. This explains why the Agency is very excited entering into this relationship that we believe will help change the narratives of the sub-sector”, commented Fasanya.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 7 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.