The African Development Bank (AfDB) has sealed a $50 million Line of Credit Agreement with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to support access to finance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), as well as Women-empowered Businesses (WEBs).
FCMB would support SMEs and WEBs in Nigeria’s agribusiness, manufacturing, healthcare, and renewable energy sectors with the fund from the Line of Credit.
The money will help the beneficiary firms’ operating environments be less negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic’s issues.
Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) program, the AfDB will also collaborate with FCMB through a technical support grant of $200,000 from the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative (WeFi). The FCMB will use the grant resources to expand its monitoring and reporting capabilities for WEBs, give training, and provide non-financial services.
Improved access to financing for at least 50 businesses is another goal of the operation; of these, 29 are planned to be in the industrial and agriculture sectors, nine in the renewable energy sector, and 13 in the healthcare sector. At least 14 female entrepreneurs would receive assistance in obtaining long-term investment, and 1,000 new or preserved employment will be generated.
The AfDB’s Director General, Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow, in a statement said: “The AfDB is pleased to partner with FCMB, a financial institution that has continuously demonstrated commitment to supporting and financing small and medium-sised enterprises and women entrepreneurs.
“This collaboration will further expand FCMB’s financial support to this underserved group and contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy.”
Barrow said the focus and objectives of the Bank’s collaboration with FCMB, were in line with the African Development Bank’s strategic priorities of promoting gender inclusivity, private sector development, industrialisation, food security, and job creation in the bank’s regional member countries as encapsulated in the bank’s High-5 Strategic Priorities to ‘Industrialise Africa’, and ‘Feed Africa’.
The project is in line with the goals of the bank’s AFAWA initiative, which seeks to increase gender inclusion by facilitating women entrepreneurs’ access to capital. The AfDB is one of the initiative’s implementing partners of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, a partnership housed in the World Bank Group, aims to increase access to financing for women-owned businesses in developing nations.
The Managing Director, FCMB Limited, Yemisi Edun, in a statement said, “We are happy to collaborate with the African Development Bank to create expanded opportunities and accelerate post-COVID-19 pandemic business recovery for small, medium-sized, and women-owned businesses in Nigeria through funding and technical support.
“We are intentional about collaborations that upskill entrepreneurs, drive industrialisation, and create economic value, wealth and employment for Nigerians.”