Fidelity Bank in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has held the second session of its four-part webinar series on the topic Accessing Finance During Crises.
This is in line with the Bank’s deep-rooted commitment to growing its Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) base, Organized under its “Fidelity Presents…” thought leadership initiative, it focused on training SMEs on how to access loans, funds, and grants to grow their businesses during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
A statement from Fidelity Bank, copied to the Ghana News Agency, explained that SMEs drawn from various sectors of the economy took part in the webinar to get adequate information on the topics of funding options, loan and line of credit, borrower considerations, and lender considerations.
Mr Linus Kumi, Director, Commercial and SME Banking of Fidelity Bank Ghana, opening the webinar said: “a number of small businesses struggle to gain access to finance. The situation has become more difficult with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Without adequate financing, it is difficult for small businesses to run successfully. Fidelity believes in SMEs, not only as clients but as partners in job creation and economic growth. Hence, we saw the need to help SMEs to understand the key considerations for borrowing money,” the statement said.
Nana-Esi Idun-Arkhurst, Divisional Director, Retail Banking of Fidelity Bank Ghana added: “Our strong commitment to the growth and development of SMEs led to the provision of incentives like loan moratoriums, loan restructuring, and other considerations to help SMEs to fortify their businesses to withstand the economic shocks resulting from the pandemic.”
On the possible reasons for pandemic borrowing, leading IFC consultant, and the facilitator for the webinar, Ms Margaret Jackson, according to the statement, advised participants to invest borrowed money into technology to adapt to changing trends and increase production to meet demand.
“Do not borrow money to repay debt. You put your business in a debt cycle that is difficult to exit,” she added.
Ms Jackson encouraged participants to create a plan to keep their businesses profitable, manage their cash flow, and adapt to the crisis and the future.
Participants expressed gratitude to Fidelity Bank and encouraged the bank to organise more capacity building programmes in the area of finance for them.
Fidelity Bank held the first edition of its thought leadership series Fidelity Presents… for SMEs on Thursday, June 11, 2020, on the topic An SME Perspective: Surviving Today to Thrive Tomorrow.
The next edition in the SME webinar series will take place on Thursday, July 30, 2020, at the 1000 hours on the topic “Communicating with Stakeholders During Crises.”
The final edition titled “Adjusting your Business Plan During Crises” will be held on Thursday, August 13, 2020, at the 1000 hours.
With its brand promise of ‘Together We’re More’, Fidelity Bank Ghana is the largest privately-owned Ghanaian bank and the fourth largest in terms of assets and deposits.
The Bank has two subsidiaries: Fidelity Asia Bank Limited and Fidelity Securities Limited. It currently has 75 branches, about 2000 agents, and over 114 ATMs nationwide.