This is because Women in Business at First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB) is set to launch a proposition that offers zero-interest rate on loans to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
With the development, women entrepreneurs in Nigeria, who desire affordable and convenient funding to boost their respective businesses, can now do so.
The move, the bank said, is in line with its commitment to empower women-owned SMEs- existing and start-ups, through financial support, advisory and value-added products, to enhance customer experience and overall contribution to the growth of the country and its economy.
Already, FCMB has established a dedicated desk for women-owned businesses, under its Business Banking Group and equipped this unit with highly professional personnel to meet the needs of this segment.
The zero-interest rate product, which is for an initial period of three months, is designed as an all-round programme, structured to prepare and equip the bank’s female-owned SME customers to take their business to greater heights.
This product comes with additional benefits, such as capacity building programmes through trainings and financial advisory services, as 80 women, every quarter, will have access to mentorship and training, while 40 of them will benefit from the loan.
The Executive Director, Business Development of FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith, said women have become important assets for social and economic growth, going by their business undertakings and exploits in the establishment and management of SMEs.
“This means that by the end of the year, we would have mentored 320 women and 160 women would have enjoyed the facility. Our zero-interest loan product is tailored to offer sustainable benefits and increase the productivity and contributions of women-owned SMEs,” she said.
The Group Head, Business Banking and SMEs of FCMB, George Ogbonnaya, said: “We understand certain factors, including lack of access to prompt funding, access to market and other support systems which combine to determine the success or failure of an SME.
“We will continue to support our customers operating in the SMEs segment to overcome these challenges. We want to be part of their success story’’.