Fidelity Bank reaffirms commitment to empowering women-owned businesses

Fidelity Bank, Ghana’s largest privately-owned bank, has reaffirmed its commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs by providing with continued cutting-edge financial and other services to make them succeed. Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, Divisional Director, Retail and Business Banking at Fidelity Bank gave this assurance at a Women in Business Dialogue Series held in Accra under the theme: “Investing in Women-Owned Businesses for Ghana’s Transformation Agenda: A Call for Action.” She reiterated the Bank’s support to making women business investor-ready and credit-worthy, while urging women entrepreneurs to be disciplined from the inception of their business, regardless of its formality. That, she said, required that women-entrepreneurs built trust and credibility with potential investors or financial institutions, including having proper documentation of their business. “Whether seeking credit, equity, or grants, investors want to see tangible evidence of the business’s prospects and financial viability,” the Retail and Business Banking Divisional Director advised. Ms Idun-Arkhurst stated that sometimes, what the business needed was not money, but financial, investor and market readiness. “Focus on building a strong customer base, obtaining necessary certifications, and ensuring your product meets relevant standards. This will position you for success when seeking financial support,” she advised. Ms Idun-Arkhurst noted that it was important for businesses to understand market dynamics and position themselves to meet international standards and be able to export to other parts of the world. She stated that the Bank’s ‘Export Club’ initiative, a collaborative programme with the Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters, had been designed to support businesses to meet global standards and expand market access. “Knowing customer preferences and international export standards is vital; don’t assume your product will succeed everywhere. Some may have very specific requirements. Knowing these nuances is essential for successful exporting,” she said. Ms Idun-Arkhurst encouraged women entrepreneurs to take advantage of available resources and capacity-building programmes provided by the bank to gain valuable knowledge and skills, apart from the financial support. She said: “Fidelity Bank, for example, offers the Fidelity Young Entrepreneurs Fund, which provides loans at concessionary interest rates, technical assistance, and capacity building specifically for women and youth-led businesses.” She also urged women entrepreneurs to sign up to the Bank’s recently launched bridge-in-agriculture programme with the MasterCard Foundation, aimed at empowering women and youth in the agricultural sector. On technology, Ms Idun-Arkhurst encouraged the women to increase their pace in embracing digital marketing tools in today’s business landscape. “This is our time as women entrepreneurs! The business landscape has evolved. Embrace technology, leverage available resources, and confidently take advantage of the vast opportunities that exist,” she said. “Fidelity Bank stands beside you, offering the resources and support you need to succeed in the ever-evolving business world,” she said. Fidelity Bank’s participation in the Women in Business Dialogue Series aligns with its ongoing dedication to fostering a more inclusive and prosperous Ghana, she noted. Ms Idun-Arkhurst indicated that by equipping women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resources they need to thrive, Fidelity Bank would be contributing to Ghana’s overall economic transformation agenda.

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