Fidelity Bank ‘SME Connect’ Matches Founders With Funders
Fidelity Bank – with its Managed SME Division; which provides one-on-one advisory to its customers, through its Networking With Giants Conference; which partnered with the Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Organisation on Solution to Poverty in Africa; to the Fidelity SME Forum, a weekly radio programme for budding entrepreneurs – is arguably Nigeria’s leading SME-focused banking group.
Adjudged as an SME Friendly Bank by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI); Fidelity Bank has reportedly disbursed N2.3 billion under the Central Bank of Nigeria N220 billion SME Fund Programme. Also, it recently received $50 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for disbursement to Small and Medium Enterprises.
Last week, at a press briefing at the bank’s head office on Wednesday, July 3, 2019; Fidelity Bank raised its SME-friendliness one notch. Hence, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Managing Director, announced the bank’s funding initiative for Small and Medium Enterprises; “SME Funding Connect.”
The event was tagged ‘Entrepreneurship Meets Capital’. Howbeit, the initiative aims to provide funding for small businesses through the Fidelity Bank’s funding partners; venture capitalists and angel investors.
Okonkwo was represented by the Executive Director, Commercial and Consumer Banking, Lagos and South West, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe and Osaigbovo Omorogbe, Divisional Head, Managed SMEs.
Andrew Kevin, Advisory Partner, represented PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), consultants to the project.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers, on behalf of Fidelity Bank, will carefully vet and select the founders and funders before they will be invited to the Fair.
The SME Funding Connect will be a platform for Founders (owners of Small and Medium Enterprises) to meet Funders (angel investors and venture capitalists). Consequently, the Fair will hold in Lagos on August 7, 2019, for SMEs based in the South West; move to Kano in the last quarter of this year, for SMEs in the North, and Port Harcourt in the first quarter of next year, for SMEs in the South East and South-South.
Also, the event, which promises to find the right companies with the right founders to introduce to the right investors, will feature:
- 3,000 Participants.
- 60 Founders.
- 60 Fund Providers.
- N12 million in grants.
- Six Breakout Sessions.
- Three Networking Cocktails.
The event will focus on creating a platform that will support entrepreneurs, by connecting them with mentors, influencers and investors. The goal is to identify early stage start-ups with opportunity for growth, and link them with strategic investors.
For founders looking for how to start their business; the event will provide an opportunity to meet people who can support their dream by investing in their ideas. However, for established founders; the event will offer a chance for them to learn and gain advice on how they can grow their business.
For funders, real investors who will attend the event, the fair presents an opportunity for them to meet company founders and hear their pitches.
The novelty of SME Connect will further consolidate the admirable position of Fidelity Bank as a prime mover in the nation’s SME space, and a proven playmaker with a track record of catering to the peculiar needs of the small business market.
Why should an aspiring or practising Small Business Owner attend the Founders Meet Funders event?
The Founders Meet Funders Fair looks like a sure way to discover Nigerian start-ups and the investors who can make a difference. The Fair is likely to provide a rare channel to source quality deals. It will be a meeting point for investable pre-seed and seed-stage start-ups that are creating products and services that matter, and savvy investors for potentially profitable opportunities.
The Fidelity Bank SME Connect will add significant value to the Nigerian start-up ecosystem. We highly recommend attending this event as a founder or a funder!