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Ghana: Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst reinforces Fidelity Bank’s dedication to supporting women entrepreneurs

Fidelity Bank, Ghana’s largest privately-owned bank, has restated its dedication to empowering women entrepreneurs at the Women in Business Dialogue Series hosted by the Business and Financial Times.

During the event, Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, Divisional Director of Retail & Business Banking at Fidelity Bank, shared valuable insights, highlighting the significance of nurturing investor-ready businesses. She underscored Fidelity’s unwavering commitment to providing the necessary resources and assistance for these businesses to thrive.

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 emphasized 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.

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