First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has explained the rationale behind its capacity building programme, tagged, ‘Business Enterprises and Sustainability Training (BEST),’ for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).
According to the bank, the initiative is to lay a solid foundation for their long-term success of SMEs in the country.
The bank added that the programme would also enable entrepreneurs to have access to business management skills and advisory services, learn and acquire competencies which they can apply for effective management of their respective businesses in a sustainable manner.
A statement disclosed that FCMB held the sixth edition of the BEST programme for existing and start-up SMEs held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State recently.
Hundreds of existing and start-up entrepreneurs from the six states in the South-south zone took part and benefitted from the intensive training and empowerment exercise.
This followed the success recorded at previous editions of the training across Nigeria since it commenced last year.
The initiative, led by FCMB Training Academy, the bank’s Business Banking Group and seasoned facilitators, focused on business and skills development, marketing, finance and accounting for SMEs.
It covered various topical areas such as identifying business opportunities, surviving in a harsh business environment, improving productivity, raising capital, optimising sales, cost and revenue management, among others.
It is one of the value-added offerings of FCMB to complement its efforts in the areas of lending and advisory services to SMEs with the objective of stimulating their growth and contributions to overall national development.
According to the Executive Director, Business Development of FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith, the bank recognises the increasing role and impact of SMEs.
“The BEST initiative is one of the innovative ways we empower, promote and support the growth of our SME customers because without effective training and exposure, it could be quite difficult for their businesses to succeed. “We believe this training will go a long way to impact positively on the SME operators who have participated in this programme. It will propel them to further develop themselves in order to compete favourably within and outside the Nigerian market.
“We therefore, urge the beneficiaries to take advantage of the unique opportunities provided by this exercise, because it is a veritable platform for them to take the lead in driving the diversification and growth of the Nigerian economy,” she said.
Also speaking, the Head, Training Academy of FCMB, Mr. Sola Oyegbade, stated that: “Just like the roots of a tree are responsible for the overall health and strength of the tree, FCMB BEST initiative has become a forum for feeding the SMEs with relevant resources to nurture and nourish their businesses profitably through tested and proven principles for capacity building, skills development and sustainability.
“FCMB Training Academy is playing its part as a skillful gardener alongside other stakeholders to ensure the sustained health and continuous growth of all the SMEs that have subscribed and partnered with us in the BEST initiative.”