Reports show that women make up 49% of Nigeria’s adult population. However, only about 42% of them have access to formal financial services. Moreover, 42.7% of Nigerian women are business owners out of which only an estimated 2% have access to capital and loans to grow their businesses. It is also reported that around 7 million businesses will be set-up by Nigerian women in the year 2021 with the potential to create 8.9 million jobs and unlock billions in revenue for the country.
On Thursday, March 07, 2019 at an impressive ceremony in Lagos, leading Nigerian financial institution First City Monument Bank (FCMB) unveiled #SheVentures, its brand-new proposition to support the growth of businesses owned or managed by women. The event, which was part of the Bank’s activities to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day with the theme “Balance for Better” provided the right opportunity to highlight how FCMB is helping women close the gaps in the world of business.
- Mentorship– through a network of qualified mentors carefully selected by FCMB, #SheVentures offers Nigerian business women access to guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modelling for a successful career.
- Capacity building and training – The Bank has also partnered with consultants in various fields of business to provide key professional services at discounted rates to its women in business customers. Not forgetting exclusive business training events which FCMB either directly organizes or in partnership with other leading organizations.
- Access to loans at zero (yes, zero!) or competitive interest rates – through its flagship zero percent loan product, FCMB offers short-term loans to female customers who need quick access to funds. At the #SheVentures launch event alone, about 40 female SMEs were awarded loans of between N500,000 to N5,000,000 at zero percent interest. In addition, there are other loans such as the FCMB BOI Gender Loan, which comes at 15% interest.
- Supporting women in business is of strategic importance to FCMB – at the launch of #SheVentures, Mr Adam Nuru said the Bank strongly believes in the power of entrepreneurship. He added that the contribution of women to economic development cannot be understated, as over 30% of businesses owned globally are either female owned or managed. On her part, FCMB’s Executive Director, Business Development, Mrs Bukola Smith, said ‘’the #SheVentures proposition is as much a statement of substance as it is one of intent. We are passionate about supporting women in business. The #SheVentures offerings are tailored to offer sustainable benefits to women-owned SMEs and support them to increase their productivity and contributions in the areas of job and wealth creation, poverty reduction, empowerment and the overall development of Nigeria.”
So, now you know – FCMB is providing the right support to help the Nigerian business woman thrive in all #SheVentures to do! For more information about #SheVentures, please click https://on.fcmb.com/SheVentures-10.