News Column

Access Bank Mentors Entrepreneurs On Funding Opportunities

August 4, 2014

Chijioke Nelson



ACCESS Bank Plc has advised entrepreneurs on steps they need to take in addressing funding challenges they face in their business activities.

Speaking at the weekend, during the fifth yearly Young Entrepreneurs Network (YEN) conference in Lagos, the Head, Women Banking Unit, Access Bank, Titilola Familoni, said entrepreneurs need to keep proper records of their transactions and operations, as such would support their loan application processes.

She said lenders approve loans based on statistics or information available to them as required by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to her, there is also need for entrepreneurs to put the right structure in place in their businesses, adding that proper accounting shows seriousness on the part of the entrepreneurs.

She pointed out that financial institutions will always ask for collateral for a loan because it is a requirement from the CBN.

"Entrepreneurs need to get their records right as such would help them in accessing funding from banks. When the records are right, no bank can say no to a loan request.

"You do not need to reinvent the wheel. See what other entrepreneurs have done and learn from that. Such experience will help speed up your growth and development," she said.

Besides, she urged them to invest in their personal development, as well as workers, to equip them with knowledge against challenges that face the business.

"Entrepreneurs need to know how banks think. Banks do not like funding a customer's risk. Any bank will ensure that it is protected from whatever risk that lending to a customer carries. Equity is important in business. A customer desirous of a loan, need to have a savings culture.

"Entrepreneurs need to prepare themselves before approaching a bank for a loan. Preparation makes the borrower to approach the bank from superiority point of view and he will get the loan," she said.

According to her, Access Bank is also looking at ways of assisting entrepreneurs to realise their goals, by identifying and solving challenges that affect their businesses.

She noted that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) need to properly structure their businesses as "we have discovered that many of the small businesses had no business plans and are owned by one person who does all the work and usually has no business plan. This has to stop if they want a bank to take them seriously especially when it comes to giving out loans."

She noted that the bank would ensure proper training on basic cash flow forecasting and analysis skills for customers towards overcoming some of the challenges that come with faulty reports.

"Our approach to financing is different. We need to first know and understand what the customer is doing before giving out loans. Remember that the money belong to the depositors and has to be protected," she said.

Also speaking, the Founder, HealthPlus Limited, Mrs. Bukky George, said entrepreneurs also have to ensure that their products contribute to common good and build a brand that lasts.

George said entrepreneurs also have to prepare their successors to ensure continuity and have the right workers that handle sensitive roles within the company.


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Source: AllAfrica


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