The Group Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo has identified lack of capacity as one of the major impediments to the growth and development of small scale businesses in the country.
Speaking in Abuja during the opening session of the entrepreneurship training workshop for small businesses organised in partnership with EMPRETEC, he added that unstable government policies, lack of collateral to access loans, hostile business environment and funding remained a nightmare for aspiring businesses.
However, he said the bank had decided to wade in to ameliorate the challenges of SMEs through capacity enhancement following findings that lack of capacity accounted for over 80 per cent of the challenges facing small scale businesses.
Represented by the Group Head, Specialised SMEs, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Ndubuisi Onuoha, the MD 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
He added: “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 program is to empower our entrepreneurs to make them better businessmen.”
He 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,” he said.
The General Manager Business and Strategy of Enpretech Mr. Bright Osakwe said the programme is an initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) aimed at enhancing entrepreneurship skills of SMEs.