Expert Proffers Strategies For Business Growth At Fidelity Bank’s SME Forum Online
The Co-Founder and CEO of SoFresh, a healthy food chain, Olagoke Balogun, has offered tips on how existing and would-be small and medium scale enterprises can scale up their businesses.
He gave the hint at the Fidelity Bank’s SME Forum held recently on Instagram where he spoke on the topic, “How to Thrive in a Tough Economy: Key Insights for Food Companies”. It is worthy of note that Fidelity Bank, one of Nigeria’s foremost SMEs supporting bank.
The SME Forum is housed on the brand’s Instagram platform as a weekly Instagram Live series. SMEs can participate in the discussions every Friday at noon through the comment section by asking a question or contributing to the subject being discussed.
Balogun hinted that COVID-19 had made neighbourhood shopping to become a new normal which may have come to stay. He therefore advised small scale entrepreneurs in the food industry to take a fresh look at their operating models with a view to increasing capacities for deliveries which is rising and will continue to rise, while leveraging on existing e-commerce platforms and smaller ones that are bound to crop up. He also advised them on exploring the possibility of co-location, develop their own websites where they can; and leveraging the social media as may be appropriate for their businesses and relevant to their clients.
Commending on funding for small scale entrepreneurs, he advised that they should start with sourcing funds from personal savings, family and friends. Similarly, he added that there are numerous grants which they could also access, once they can successfully go through all the rigorous processes which the grants usually involve. “you can make effort to access more than one of such grants,” he said.
In the same vein, he explained that entrepreneurs can also approach banks for loan but their ideas must be extraordinary. “it is only if you have an extraordinary idea that you think about approaching a bank at all,” he explained.
It would be recalled that Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria, with over 5 million customers and focusing on select niche corporate banking sectors as well as Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Fidelity Bank is rapidly implementing a digital based retail banking strategy which has resulted in exponential growth in savings deposits over the last Six (6) years, with over 40 percent customer enrollment on the Bank’s flagship mobile/internet banking products.
Quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Fidelity Bank Plc began operations in 1988 as a Merchant Bank. In 1999, it converted to Commercial Banking and then became a Universal Bank in February 2001. The current enlarged Fidelity Bank is a result of the merger with the former FSB International Bank Plc and Manny Bank Plc in 2005.
Reputed for integrity and professionalism, Fidelity Bank recently won accolades as the Best SME Friendly Bank, Best in Mobile Banking and the Most Improved Corporate/Investment Bank among several industry awards and recognitions.