Buoyed by the impact of its past funding support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) in the country, Diamond Bank has set aside another N5 billion for lending to the sub sector before the end of the year.
Head, Retail Banking, Mr. Garry Marsh, disclosed this at the sixth BusinessXpress Enterprise seminar organized by the bank for its MSME customers and non-customers in Lagos lst week.With this development, the bank would have lent a total of N10 billion to the MSME operators since the scheme took off about two years ago.He said that the bank was motivated to support the sub-sector due to the positive outcome of the initial N5 billion lent to the subsector as well as its strategic importance to the economy.
Marsh urged MSME operators with bankable projects to avail themselves the opportunity provided by the bank, stating that the sub sector was quite strategic to any economy as it contributes between 50 and 75 per cent to the Nigerian economy.He explained that the seminar was part of the bank’s empowerment programme for MSMEs operators as they will have the opportunity to learn from those who have transited from small to larger businesses, regretting that such strategic sector had been neglected for a long time in the country.
“The seminar is part of our contributions to developing small businesses. It is meant to assist the operators improve their businesses.“They are very good at what they do. We get our proposition right down to that level. “We have so far lent out about N5 billion since the scheme started with the support o IFC 15 months ago and before the end of the year, we are looking out lending about N10 billion to the operators.“We are happy to be playing this role. If we succeed in helping the SME operators grow their businesses, we would have helped grow the Nigerian economy.”
He also disclosed that plans were underway by the bank to set up business club and produce fact sheets to further develop the competences of the operators, stating that it will impact positively on their businesses.Also speaking, Proposition Head, MSME, Chidinma Lawanson, noted that the seminar is part of the bank’s plans to give back to the people in that class, adding that it was an opportunity for the operators to share experiences with experts, with a view to moving their businesses to the next level.
Lawanson was elated at the testimonies and positive responses from participants in the past seminars, stressing that the bank has concluded plans to hold the seminar monthly and extend it beyond Abuja, Lagos and PortHarcourt.“We are quite pleased with the efforts to assist the MSMEs even those who are not our customers to develop their businesses.“We have plans to extend it to other places such as Warri, Benin, Kaduna and core North, “she stated.
She pointed out that the seminars is not about essentially targeted at generating new customers but adding value and helping the MSME operators to grow their business.Delivering the keynote lecture titled: Strategic Planning for SMEs, Principal Consultant, Phily and Mools, Mr. Niyi Oguntoyinbo, emphasized synergy in growing business.He taught the participants on building team, customers’ relations and four ways to growing business and achieving maximum results.