DBN to begin entrepreneurship training, funding for MSMEs development 

Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has declared that it has concluded plans to boost Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through a capacity building and entrepreneurship training programme for financial institutions in the country.

 It explained that the programme, which is one of its core mandates, will also target provision of access to finance for MSMEs and partial credit guarantee to participating financial institutions on a market conformity basis to enable them to lend to small businesses.

 Specifically, the development finance institution said it was committed to building capacity of Nigerian MSMEs to enable them to formally grow and become bankable to easily access available credit.

 Commenting on the initiative, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of the bank, Tony Okpanachi, said part of DBN’s role is to partner with financial institutions and collaborate with them to better provide facilities for MSMEs.

 He explained that in most cases, the bank also offers technical assistance programmes to financial institutions to enhance their lending capacity to MSMEs.

 His words: “In the short-term, we plan to strengthen our catalytic role in the Nigerian economy by expanding our reach to more MSMEs in underserved regions, such as crisis impacted areas and enhancing development impact in key areas such as women and youth-owned enterprises, startups and first time borrowers.

 “We will continue to provide capacity building to MSMEs and technical assistance to participating financial institutions and also strengthen their capacity to MSMEs. In the medium-term, we plan to complete the digital transformation efforts currently underway in the banking sector and expand our channels of information dissemination to MSMEs, which speaks to our drive for increased collaboration with other partners within the space.

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 “In the long-term, our focus is for DBN to be recognised locally and internationally, as the foremost institution that drives the growth and sustainability of the Nigerian economy through the provision of financial support for MSMEs.”

 While explaining the structured entrepreneurship training to the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) executive, who visited the Lagos Office of the bank, Head of Corporate Services, Idris Saliu, said DBN would be deploying its Learning Management System (LMS), a free learning portal with carefully planned courses for the programme.

 “The portal is open to all Nigerian MSMEs that are interested in acquiring the right knowledge needed to succeed in doing businesses in Nigeria,” he said, adding that DBN will select the best 200 businesses to attend practical training in Lagos and Abuja.

 He pointed out that the physical session would be an opportunity for businesses to practically learn important success principles for their businesses, as well as discuss and get business support in specific areas of need.

 He further explained that all businesses will be eligible to apply for the capacity building programme, adding: “All applications must be submitted online through the application portal. Interested businesses must register on the DBN BizAid Learning Management Platform and obtain an average score of 70 per cent.”

 According to the bank’s spokesman, the courses that must be completed are Accounting and Bookkeeping, Sustainability for MSMEs, Marketing and Sales, Techniques, as well as Credit Management and Access to Finance.

 In an earlier statement DBN noted that all businesses that have completed the course by September 2023 would receive an email with a link to apply for the practical training upon submission of the application form and email that will be sent to the applicants within 24 hours.

 “Applicants will be screened and shortlisted after the close of the application based on the eligibility criteria, selection will be done through the defined selection criteria from the pool of shortlisted applications and communication with successful applicants shall be contacted through the email addresses provided or a call to the telephone number provided on the application form,” he explained.

 On eligibility criteria, the bank specified that business owners must be profit-oriented in any sector, must be a Nigerian or legal resident in the country, must be 18 years and above, and must be available to commit to the training schedule once accepted.

 It further stated that bankability-level and readiness to upscale their businesses, feasibility and sustainability of the business model, scalability or demonstrated potential for growth of the business to create jobs, are important criteria for selection.

 DBN, a wholly development finance institution was set up to providing finance for MSMEs through Participating Financial Intermediaries (PFIs), which became the face of DBN since the bank could not interface directly with the end borrowers, an arrangement that limits the level of knowledge the end-borrowers should have about the institution.

 The bank is committed to continued acceleration of its awareness campaign and stakeholders’ engagement to drive MSMEs access to finance and deliver the needed development impact in all sectors of the economy.

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