By Nwatu Chisom.
Nigeria’s leading tier-2 bank, Fidelity Bank Plc, has announced the launch of its Apprenticeship Support Initiative as part of its strategy to encourage women-led Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs).
The scheme, which would be executed under the bank’s HerFidelity Proposition, would commence with a two-months’ fashion and design training for young women in Kano State.
HerFidelity Proposition was launched earlier in the year at the International Women’s Day celebration hosted by Fidelity Bank in Lagos.
At the event, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, managing director of Fidelity Bank, presented cheques of N1 million each to five women-led SMEs from Kano, Yola, Owerri and Lagos to train young women in the areas of fashion design, cosmetics and auto mechanics.
In a chat with journalists in Lagos, Esther Obiekwe, group head, SME Banking at Fidelity Bank Plc, said the bank aims to position itself as a platform for improving lives, helping businesses grow and economies to thrive.
“Whether this is through the financial solutions we provide to our numerous clients or through interventions such as our Apprentice Support and capacity building initiatives for women, we remain committed to helping our clients grow,” Obiekwe said.
She said the main purpose of the Apprentice Support Initiative was to equip women to develop the required skills that would help transform them into employers of labour while contributing to the nation’s economic growth and development.
“We launched HerFidelity Proposition on the International Women’s Day this year to speak to the yearnings of every woman through four pillars, namely – capacity development, access to finance at reduced rates, health, and wellness programmes as well as recognition and networking events,” Obiekwe said.
“Our Apprentice Support Initiative is one of the ways we are championing the capacity development mandate and we are delighted to launch the initiative with the training of nine young ladies at Mdee Fashion Design Limited in Kano State from Monday, 25th July 2022. We are optimistic that this would go a long way in assisting these ladies develop the required skills that would transform them into employers of labour and ultimately, contribute to the nation’s economic fortunes,” she said.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank in Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. It also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.