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Skye Bank, experts chart way forward for SMES

Financial experts have identified lack of knowledge among operators of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country as the bane of their success.

Speaking at an SME seminar organized by Skye Bank Plc. for MSME operators in the North Central zone in Ilorin on Thursday, the Group Head of the bank’s Retail Banking, Nkolika Okoli, said the people had failed to access opportunities presented to them by government and finance houses due to lack of knowledge to develop their businesses.

Okoli who said funds are now available through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention fund and the Bank of Industry, however, said that SMES were not coming forth to access the fund provided by these channels.

“So, we are here to teach them how they can access these funds. There’s actually fund for SMES at single digit.

“The challenge of MSMEs is mainly lack of knowledge, including complaints about access to finance and access to market. The aim of this seminar is to support operators of MSMEs to grow. Our value promise to all MSMEs is that we nurture business for growth. We are consciously looking for small businesses to nurture from small to growing and to establish.

“This seminar is meant for them to imbibe the knowledge they lack. So, we bring successful businessmen, consultants to share tips on how they succeed in their own businesses and teach the people on importance of record keeping, how to comport themselves, and how to obtain loan.

“We are here to give loan. We can’t be in business without giving loan. But we speak different languages. The banks say bring records, you say believe me. But it doesn’t work like that. So, with this seminar, taken across the country, we teach those things they need to know and how to keep records. Hopefully, we nurture them from a small business to an established business,” she said.

She further said that management of Skye Bank had partnered with global finance body like the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on how to assist SMEs with flexible collateral, called security with emotional values.

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