February 13, 2012
AS part of its commitment to enhance the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria, Diamond Bank Plc has disbursed total of N30 billion to 14,000 entrepreneurs across the country.
The Head of MSME Propositions of the Bank, Mr. Chima Nnadozie, who made this disclosure during the first Business Clinic in the Diamond BusinessXpress Enterprise Series, noted that the bank in acknowledging the multifaceted challenges faced by SMEs assembled experts in finance, strategy, business planning, human resources and marketing to provide the antidotes for entrepreneurs, which would help boost their businesses.
Nnadozie, who also said that the clinic would avail seasoned professionals to have one-on-one discussion with business owners on specific issues affecting their businesses, identified lack of funding, human capacity, structures and the needed requisite knowledge and skills to operate as critical factors collapsing businesses.
According to him, Diamond Bank wants to see “businesses outlive their owners, even after the owners are no more, it continues to be operated. “The bank is fighting against businesses collapsing once the owners die, because there is no structure, succession plan and most businesses are not registered.”
He further assured of the bank’s readiness to provide access to finance for entrepreneurs through SME loans and add value to businesses, considering the challenges they encounter in the sector.
“As a business owner who operates Diamond BusinessXpress account, the clinic was initiated specifically to add value to their businesses in the range of micro, small or medium scale enterprise. The account aims to help you grow your business,” the head of MSME Propositions added.
Olugbolahan Mark-George, the chief executive officer, Mark-George Consultants, a business-planning expert, stated that if the SME sector was not adequately taken care of, the nation’s economy and the people cannot develop.
He affirmed that Diamond Bank realised that education, enlightenment and advisory are important to businesses, while providing the enabling platform, which is access to fund.
Mark-George, who is also the coordinator of Diamond Bank BusinessXpress for SMEs, urged other banks and government to participate in the programme by providing finance to facilitate MSMEs’ growth.