TheVentures, powered by First City Monument Bank, has commenced the disbursement of 90-day zero-interest loans of up to N5m across the country to women-owned Small to Medium Enterprises.
A statement said the 90-day zero-interest loan initiative was resuming for the third consecutive year to bridge the funding gaps faced by women-owned enterprises. It also ensures access to capacity-building programmes.
Speaking on the initiative, the Managing Director, FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun, said, “Our SheVentures zero-interest loan is helping women entrepreneurs pursue profitable and sustainable growth through upfront capital for new products, services and expansion. In addition, it has uplifted and safeguarded women-owned businesses from the brutal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, among other challenges.”
According to the statement, the Head of Women in Business at FCMB, Ms Yetunde Moito, noted qualified women entrepreneurs could access between N500,000 and N5,000.
Between January 2021 and June 2022, she added, SheVentures disbursed over N400m to about 250 women-owned SMEs through the free interest loans offering. Over 15,000 others also benefitted from free training, mentoring and other empowerment programmes organised as part of the broad objectives of FCMB to empower women entrepreneurs.
The statement added Sheventures’ works focus on female-owned SMEs.
It stated that, “The bank’s focus on financial inclusion and SMEs was recently supported by a $17.3m funding partnership with Mastercard Foundation. As a result, FCMB will provide more affordable loans to 100,000 SMEs over the next five years, focusing on 90per cent participation by women.”