FCMB provides N5m interest-free loans to SMEs through its SheVentures initiative

FCMB SheVentures Proposal Offers Enhanced Support to Existing Businesses and Startups Owned by Women Entrepreneurs

By Eugene Onyeji

The First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has stepped up its support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by commencing the disbursement of interest-free loans of up to N5 million across the country.

Zero-interest loan support, under the Bank’s SheVentures initiative, is designed for women-owned businesses for a period of three months.

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The 90-day zero-rate loan initiative is reopening for the third consecutive year to address funding gaps faced by women-owned businesses. It also guarantees access to capacity building programs.

Speaking on the initiative, FCMB Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Yemisi Edun said:
“Our SheVentures zero-interest loan helps women entrepreneurs pursue profitable and sustainable growth through seed capital for new products, services and expansion. Additionally, it has strengthened and protected women-owned businesses from the impact brutality of the COVID-19 pandemic, among other challenges.”

In a statement from SheVentures Team Leader, Ms. Yetunde Moito, the Bank explained that the extension of the Zero Interest Lending Facility is another demonstration of its unparalleled commitment to empowering and propelling SMEs to greater high peaks in a way that will increase their productivity and profitability for the overall benefit of the nation. She added that under the latest support, which starts from Abuja and North region, qualified clients of the Bank have the opportunity to access between 500,000.00 and 5 million Naira in the three month. Those in the South-South, South-West and Lagos regions will also benefit from the support later in the year. The interest-free loan is available to women-owned SMEs operating in manufacturing, trading locally produced goods, solar energy financing, food processing, oil and gas, hospitality, education, healthcare, agribusiness and fashion/garment making.

Also Read:FCMB Issues N75m Mortgages For ‘Anyone’

The FCMB SheVentures proposal offers enhanced support to existing businesses and start-ups owned by women entrepreneurs through access to finance, training and mentorship with the unique benefit of zero interest rate for a initial period of three months. More than 15,000 SMEs in this category have so far benefited from this tremendous support over the past 18 months. For example, the Bank is in partnership with the Office of the First Lady of Ogun State to provide financing and capacity building to women entrepreneurs in the state. Under the SheVentures initiative, the FCMB in November last year provided interest-free loans of between N500,000.00 and N5 million to twenty businesses in Ogun State in the framework of the partnership.

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FCMB, as a leading financial powerhouse in Nigeria, has built a strong foundation and dominated the SME segment by consistently offering various cutting-edge solutions through its major supporting pillars. These are access to capital, capacity building, advisory services, networking opportunities and technology. FCMB’s SME advisory service provides market information and technical support to businesses, access to intervention funds in partnership with development finance institutions as well as the provision of credit risk sharing mechanisms for mitigate credit risk and collateral gaps encountered in SME lending.

The Bank has also taken the lead in automating and digitizing its SME lending process via the FCMB Quick-loans platform. Through this platform, the Bank disburses more than 5,000 digital loans to these companies every month.

These giant steps, among several others made by the FCMB, have been recognized and applauded by the market as well as by other stakeholders. The Bank won the prestigious “Best SME Bank in Africa” award at the Asian Banker Middle East and Africa Regional Awards held in November 2020.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, with over 200 branches spread across Nigeria, is a member of FCMB Group Plc. The Group is one of the leading financial services institutions in Nigeria with market leading subsidiaries in their respective segments. After successfully transforming into a group led by retail banking and wealth management, FCMB intends to continue to distinguish itself through innovation and the delivery of exceptional services in line with its values ​​of execution, professionalism, Innovation and Customer Orientation (EPIC).

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