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First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is giving up to ₦5 million in interest-free loans to women entrepreneurs. The bank says this is in line with its ambition to help women build their businesses independently and increase their contribution to Nigeria’s economic output.

The SheVentures scheme, as it’s called, is designed to avail women of funding for their business. Loans under this scheme will have a tenure of three months. Training and mentorship are also benefits promised by the bank to people who apply.

About 40 women are expected to qualify for the zero interest loans, while 80 will be selected to receive free training and capacity building assistance. They will also be granted access to a network of business owners and given the chance to make valuable connections with these contacts. These opportunities will be open to a new batch of applicants every quarter.

FCMB aims to mentor 320 women and grant interest-free loans to 160 women by the end of the year.

Successful applicants undergo a one-week training and are assigned to a mentor who will work with them on their plans and help them scale up their businesses. The aim will be to bring the trainees to an appreciable level of growth by the end of the year. However, persons who are unwilling or unable to attend the training will be substituted.

Customers of the bank who go through the training but are unable to secure zero-interest funding will be assisted to determine if there are any other funding packages that might suit their businesses.

Apart from the loans and discounted insurance packages, they will be able to attend networking sessions for businesswomen sponsored by the bank, where they’ll be able to introduce their brand and the work they do to other entrepreneurs, and make important connections as well.

Applications for the program which are submitted after the deadline will be rolled over to the next quarter and will be considered as entries for that period.

The first batch of beneficiaries, from the months of January- March (that is, the first quarter) received loans of between ₦500,000 and ₦5 million. FCMB says that a total of about ₦83 million will be disbursed to 40 women who have been deemed qualified to receive funding for their small ventures.

Officials at the bank have explained that this initiative is based in part on a realization that women haven’t gotten adequate support from traditional financial institutions to build their businesses. Although about 41% of women in Nigeria are business owners, only 2% of them have had access to loans to help them grow their enterprise.

The SheVentures program was introduced by the FCMB Women in Business Unit.

You can apply for the program here.

Featured image source: FCMB Logo

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This article was first published on 2nd April 2019 and updated on April 3rd, 2019 at 5:11 pm


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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One thought on “FCMB Is Giving Zero Interest Loans to Women Entrepreneurs”

  • Please am new here, am looking for a loan to start up a busines.

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