Fidelity Bank Prepares Entrepreneurs To Explore US Market

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Fidelity Bank Plc is planning a workshop to equip Nigerian businesses with ideas to scale up and expand their reach into the international markets.

The training, which is scheduled for Wednesday, 6 April 2022 in Aba, Abia State, is being put together in collaboration with Export & Sell Limited -a trade enabling platform that facilitates the listing of Nigerian businesses on Amazon as well as access to other US off-take markets.

This idea may have been triggered by the failure of Nigerian businessmen to benefit from the $3 trillion African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in its over 22 years of enactment.

Nigerian products currently face standardisation issues, packaging, crippling forex crisis and other challenges.

Owing to this, Made-in-Nigeria products are yet to be seen in major malls and stores in the United States.

The AGOA programme is a $3 trillion trade market which legislation was approved by the U.S Congress on May 18, 20,00 for a 15 year-tenure to assist the economies of sub-Saharan African countries by providing duty-free treatment to over 6,400 goods from the target countries, thereby stimulating their Gross Domestic Products growth in the African.

Former President Barack Obama-led government, again in 2015, following the laggard nature of African non-oil exports, signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act, extending AGOA and other critical U.S preference programmes by 10 years.
Speaking on the rationale behind the workshop, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc, said the bank has, for more than three decades, helped customers scale up their businesses through the right mix of financial and non-financial solutions including access to markets initiatives like our Export and Sell workshop scheduled for Aba.

“With the workshop, we aim to guide customers and prospects in developing the competence necessary for selling to the US market”, she noted.

Similarly, Nduka Udeh, Managing Director of Export and Sell LLC, expressed his excitement to collaborate with Fidelity Bank on the project and commended the financial institution for the initiative.

Giving a summary of what participants are to expect, Udeh explained, “The training offers a practical approach to exporting and will show businesses how to prepare the correct documentation required to export to the United States of America (USA), how to find buyers, how to list products and sell on Amazon, how to export food products and the various licenses needed as well as other aspects of exporting”.

He added that assisting businesses to export would have an enormous ripple effect across the economy by increasing the volume of export earnings.

The seminar is designed for businesses in sectors such as Food and Beverage; Fashion and Textile; Leather and Foot ware; Furniture and Woodwork; Art and Craft, Beauty and Cosmetic Industries, Pet Products, Building Materials; Light Equipment; as well as Chemical and Petrochemical industries.

After the training, Export & Sell is expected to help businesses revamp the packaging of their products, and sales literature, making sure they meet the specifications to sell on Amazon and other US outlets.

The workshop comes to join a long list of dedicated initiatives put in place by the bank to help local businesses play on the global scale and attract foreign exchange earnings.

For instance, its Export Management Programme (EMP), which was launched in 2016 and is hosted in partnership with the Lagos Business School and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), equips participants ts with the requisite knowledge for driving non-oil exports.

The bank also launched the CBN RT200 FX Policy Sensitisation series in February 2022 to highlight opportunities for importers looking to pivot to exporting with the aid of the policy.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with about six million customers who are serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels.

The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards and in 2021, the bank won the awards of the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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