Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank CEO. Credit: Wikipedia

by Adebayo Obajemu

Over 3,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) would be participating in its SME Funding Connect initiative aimed at bridging funding gap, Fidelity  Bank has said Wednesday.

Executive Director, Shared Services and Products, Chijioke Ugochukwu, stated this at the bank’s SMEs forum in Lagos.

Ms Ugochukwu said the bank was anticipating 3,000 SMEs across the three series slated for Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano.

She said 3,000 SMEs would come in contact with 60 funders as well as 60 entrepreneurs with six breakout sessions for networking and capacity building.

The executive director said five finalists would speak about their ideas to participants at the event.

She added that the finalists would enjoy huge visibility ranging from networking, mentoring, among others.

She said there would be a first prize of two million naira and two consolation prizes of one million naira each.

Ms Ugochukwu said the bank came up with the initiative to deepen the conversation around funding, which remained the biggest problem of SMEs in the country.

She said funding was critical to the success of SMEs aside from the major and well known infrastructural issues, which SMEs in Nigeria and across the globe faced.

According to her, the bank’s initiative is aimed at providing funds to SMEs through funding partners such as venture capital and Angel investor, among others.