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Bank News 16 Jul 2021

Growth Opportunities for SMEs

Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, has said there are growth opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria and it will continue to support them.

The Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Wole Adeniyi, listed COVID-19 pandemic, dearth of innovative solutions and lack of access to adequate business finance as some of the challenges that had plagued the SME sector in Nigeria in recent times.

Adeniyi spoke at a webinar hosted by the bank, with the theme ‘Scaling your business in challenging economic times’, according to a statement.

“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,” he said.

He advocated the diversification of the economy through policies aimed at driving commercial growth in various sectors. He said this would boost economic growth and lead to an improved standard of living for the citizenry. According to him, SMEs are vital to the vast business ecosystem of any economy.

He 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, the Head, Enterprise Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Ayodele Ojosipe, said the challenges faced by SMEs during the lockdown still had profound effects on their businesses to date.

He added that while these challenges had resulted in increased costs of doing business, the inability of most SMEs to pass the costs to their customers had led to margin compression and outright losses in most cases, thereby threatening their business sustainability.

Ojosipe said despite the fluctuation and devaluation of the currency, which had culminated in capital inadequacy for most SMEs in Nigeria, there were opportunities in the immediate business environment that small businesses could explore to turn the tide.