Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, Divisional Director, Retail Banking of Fidelity Bank Ghana

Fidelity Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs during the Women in Business Dialogue Series hosted by the Business and Financial Times.

Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, Divisional Director, Retail & Business Banking at Fidelity Bank, delivered impactful insights at the event, emphasising the importance of cultivating investor-ready businesses and Fidelity’s commitment to offering the resources and support they need to succeed. 

The event, proudly sponsored by Fidelity Bank, took place at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra, under the theme "Investing in Women-Owned Businesses for Ghana's Transformation Agenda: A Call for Action."

The dialogue series provided a dynamic platform for influential leaders like Ms Idun-Arkhurst to share invaluable perspectives and strategies for advancing gender equality and empowering women entrepreneurs. 

 During her panel discussion, Ms Idun-Arkhurst emphasised the importance of women-owned businesses being investor-ready and credit-worthy. She highlighted the significance of strong financial practices, urging women entrepreneurs to develop disciplined habits from the inception of a business, regardless of its formality. This financial preparedness builds trust and credibility with potential investors or financial institutions. 

"Immediate documentation of business activities is crucial to establish credibility and trust with stakeholders," she advised. "Whether seeking credit, equity, or grants, investors want to see tangible evidence of the business's prospects and financial viability." 

Ms. Idun-Arkhurst emphasized that financial investment is not always the first step. She encouraged women entrepreneurs to focus on establishing a strong market presence and product quality. 

"Sometimes, what the business needs is not money," she explained. "Focus on building a strong customer base, obtaining necessary certifications, and ensuring your product meets relevant standards. This will position you for success when seeking financial support." 

Ms. Idun-Arkhurst further stressed the importance of understanding market dynamics and meeting international standards for export-oriented businesses. She shared insights from Fidelity Bank's initiatives, such as the Export Club in collaboration with the Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters, aimed at supporting businesses in meeting global standards and expanding market access. 

"Knowing customer preferences and international export standards is vital," she said. "Don't assume your product will succeed everywhere. Some may have very specific requirements. Knowing these nuances is essential for successful exporting." 

Reaffirming Fidelity Bank's commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs, Ms. Idun-Arkhurst encouraged them to take advantage of available resources and capacity-building programs by the bank that provide valuable knowledge and skills beyond just financial support. 

"There are numerous programs available to help you refine your business approach," she noted. "Fidelity Bank, for example, offers the Fidelity Young Entrepreneurs Fund, which provides loans at concessionary interest rates, technical assistance, and capacity building specifically for women and youth-led businesses." 

Additionally, Ms. Idun-Arkhurst spotlighted Fidelity Bank's recently launched bridge-in-agriculture program with the MasterCard Foundation, aimed at empowering women and youth in the agricultural sector, a critical driver of Ghana's economy. 

Ms. Idun-Arkhurst concluded with a message of empowerment highlighting the importance of leveraging technology and digital marketing tools in today's business landscape. 

"This is our time as women entrepreneurs," she declared. "The business landscape has evolved. Embrace technology, leverage available resources, and confidently take advantage of the vast opportunities that exist. Fidelity Bank stands beside you, offering the resources and support you need to succeed in the ever-evolving business world," she said. 

Fidelity Bank's participation in the Women in Business Dialogue Series aligns with its ongoing dedication to fostering a more inclusive and prosperous Ghana. By equipping women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resources they need to thrive, Fidelity Bank is contributing to Ghana's overall economic transformation agenda. 

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.