BY PETER EGWUATU
As part of its contribution towards the growth of the economy, Diamond Bank Plc has disclosed that entrepreneurs can access loan from the bank without providing collaterals.
The Bank disclosed this at the12th Diamond Bank enterprise seminar held at the weekend in Owerri, to encourage Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME) grow their businesses.
Speaking at the seminar, the Coordinator, for MSME, Chima Nnadozie explained that Bank’s customers seeking loan to grow their businesses must also meet the Bank’s criteria by a way of providing satisfactory history of their businesses.
He said the Bank is targeting the Small Scale Enterprises(SMEs) because they are the engine room of the nation’s economy.
According to him, “they are responsible for 80% of the Gross Domestic Products(GDP).They are also responsible for employing most people in the country which contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s economy.
There is a direct relationship between the state economy and existing entrepreneurs operating within and they are very important in any given society”.
The Diamond Bank concept to provide solutions to entrepreneurs at this level was well explained to participants since they all agreed that it was fruitful.
Topics treated include four ways to grow business by Tolu Delano, effective partnership for business growth by Hillary Oguguo, the web and you by Zero One and business insurance by Clara Ezuruike.
The resource person, Oguguo at the event noted that it is cheaper to maintain existing customers than to look for a new one and advised that entrepreneurs should spend more time with their existing customers and map out new strategies to capture new customers.
Participants were also told to remain in business with a view to achieve their inherent vision to deliver services on promise and should not allow themselves moved by market dictated changes of reducing quality of products or changing business focus because others have changed.
On effective partnership, Oguguo said that no business can survive without trust and integrity. He attributed most failed businesses in Nigeria to entrepreneurs not being trust worthy and advised participants to build their businesses on trust. “the effective partnership must be built on trust and integrity. Relationships are not left to chance, you must develop them intentionally, enforce agreements, keep promises otherwise the partnership will fail. Your business must meet the people’s need” he remarked .
Oguguo went further stating that effective partnership would also be driven by the entrepreneurs desire to acquire the necessary skills and capacity to implement business plans which must also be understood by those working with these entrepreneurs.
Up to date legal status and refusing to compromise ethics are useful factors in business partnerships he said.
The seminar he said was part of Diamond Bank offer to its customers for the purposes of providing solutions to their problems.
The bank in its desire to assist customers can also provide loans to enable entrepreneurs grow their businesses without tears. of providing collateral, he said.
The seminar he explained have been extended to non customers of the bank since it is aimed at developing a survival strategy for entrepreneurs across the country.
To the participants, it was a useful time spent with the Bank’s resource persons. According to Vero Nwaiwu being a participant who is into the business of printing stationary, I gained a lot particularly in the areas of partnership, trust and integrity to enable me move my business forward. I learnt also that one can get loan without collateral to expand my business”.
Also speaking with one of the participants who manage amusement and recreation parks Loveday Njoku, he commended the organisers of the seminar. “I learnt a lot on how to expand my business by opening a website, insurance and partnership”.
Another participant who spoke after the end of a seminar notable Owerri Fast Foods proprietor Nkiru Ajoku said “I operate SonicFast foods in town and I got to know that no matter the type of business you do it can be ICT compliance. You can open a website to give the world the opportunity to know about yourself and your business.
I am also convinced about is said on insurance. Insurance is good for persons and businesses. My car was stolen by armed robbers but insurance agency paid me substantial sum to minimize the pains of losing a big car”, she said