Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc has reiterated its commitment to assisting the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) ecosystem in Nigeria.
The bank recently hosted a webinar themed, ‘Scaling Your Business in Challenging Economic Times’, which was well attended by enthusiastic entrepreneurs looking to overcome the economic challenges currently faced by their businesses.
The chief executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Wole Adeniyi, listed the COVID-19 pandemic, dearth of innovative solutions and lack of access to adequate business finance as some of the challenges that have plagued the SME sector in Nigeria in recent times.
Adeniyi said: “As a business entity, Stanbic IBTC understands that running a business is not a bed of roses and that challenges differ from one business ecosystem to another.
“For this reason, Stanbic IBTC Bank is always in search of solutions to solve business challenges as they arise.”
Adeniyi also advocated for the diversification of the economy through policies that will be aimed at driving commercial growth in various sectors as SMEs are vital to the vast business ecosystem of any economy.
According to him, “This would boost economic growth and lead to an improved standard of living for the citizenry. He further advised SMEs to monitor their expenditure and make the necessary adjustments closely.”
Speaking on how the pandemic affected SMEs and the outlook of the post-pandemic era, head, Enterprise Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Ayodele Ojosipe, explained that challenges faced by SMEs during the lockdown still have profound effects on their businesses to date.
He added that whilst these challenges have resulted in increased costs of doing business, the inability of most SMEs to pass these costs to their customers has led to margin compression and outright losses in most cases thereby threatening their business sustainability.
He advised SMEs to take advantage of the Stanbic IBTC unsecured SME loan which is available to both existing and new clients of the bank.
Founder, AGS Tribe, Ife Durosimi-Etti, highlighted the need for small businesses to explore innovative ways of staying relevant through identifying what customers need.
She harped on the advantages of collaborations with other business owners, avoiding unnecessary loans, seeking opportunities for grants, and the importance of joining accelerator programmes for exposure.