It was at the Fidelity Bank SME Funding Connect, where personnel with a wealth of experience shared tips on ways entrepreneurship can meet with capital. These tips were obviously garnered from years of business participation and observation.
It is a known truth that capital is one of the most important needs of entrepreneurs, and there are many questions on how to make a meeting between entrepreneurship and capital happen and if possible, seamlessly.
A panel was set up to deliberate and share with the audience the tips to make the meeting possible. In the panel were investors, entrepreneurs and business experts. Below are some shared tips.
Give Value Everyday
The Founder and CEO, Beloxxi Industries Ltd, Mr Obi Ezeude who shared that Beloxxi began manufacturing in 2005 and presently has 150 distributors in Lagos, most of which are women, opined that one way to attract capital is to give value each day the business is run. He advised that the entrepreneurs realize that Nigeria is the only country we have and so they should aim at creating great SMEs in the country.
Make Your Business a Bankable One
Talking on the different options of funding programs run by the Bank of Industry (BOI), the Executive Director, Micro-Entreprises Directorate, Bank of Industry, Toyin Adeniji, told the audience that the Bank has programs for the youths, the creative sector and many other different options for different businesses. She, however, shared that to qualify for the different funding options, the applicants must have a good and bankable business.
She also revealed that the Bank has Business Development service providers who help different businesses get to a bankable state to help them qualify for the funds they may need.
Confirm Your Access to Market
A Director from Lagos Business School (LBS), Prof. Yinka David-West, shared a reason why businesses fail. She attributed it simply to these businesses not having access to the market. She related her belief that a good product or service which is up to par will get to the markets and will also get funding.
Know the Access Points
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has the primary job to create credit, revealed the Director, Development Finance, CBN, Mudashiru Olaitan. He shared that funds made available by CBN, like the N220 billion intervention fund which has 60% aimed at women and another percentage aimed at physically challenged people, can only be accessed by participating institutions like the banks.
He saw it as unwise for any business owner to try to access these funds directly from CBN.
Put Up the Right Structures
The Vice President, Private Equity, African Capital Alliance (ACA), Bunmi Adeoye shared his belief which echoed the points of other panellists; a good product or service will attract what is needed in terms of funding. He disclosed that ACA also saw it important to have the right structures before they can participate in funding a business, hence the firm’s aid in helping businesses set up the right structures before approving funding.
Over and again, it has been said, by experts, that getting capital is not the problem, rather the problem is getting the right things put in place.
The panellists each revealed one thing or another which will lead entrepreneurial businesses, no matter the type, closer to the meeting point with the, highly needed, capital.
Here are some photographs at the event where cheques were presented to SMEs: