Fueling Entrepreneurial Growth
In a bid to catalyze the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has rolled out an ambitious accelerator programme. With a vision to empower over one million SMEs, FCMB, in collaboration with SkillPaddy and industry experts, is poised to revolutionize the entrepreneurial landscape in the country.
A Strategic Partnership for Progress
Aligned with its commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, FCMB has secured a Technical Assistance grant totaling ₦284.7 million from Proparco and an additional ₦227 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB). These funds will enable the bank to provide critical support to SMEs, particularly women entrepreneurs and those operating in high-impact sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, and digital technology.
Unveiling the Programme
To kick-start this transformative initiative, FCMB has allocated ₦50 million in grants to 200 SMEs who participated in the inaugural training session. This announcement was made amidst the backdrop of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023, underscoring FCMB's commitment to nurturing entrepreneurial talent and driving economic progress.
A Testimony of Transformation
George Ogbonnaya, FCMB's Group Head of SME Banking, emphasized the bank's dedication to fostering a conducive environment for business growth. Through the Accelerator Programme, FCMB aims to inspire Nigerians to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations and contribute to the nation's economic development.
Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
Recognizing the pivotal role of women-led SMEs in driving economic prosperity, FCMB is committed to providing mentorship and access to finance to support their endeavors. By championing gender equality and inclusivity, FCMB seeks to empower a new generation of female entrepreneurs and change-makers.
Unlocking Opportunities for Growth
Kunle Erinle, Founder and CEO of SkillPaddy, hailed the partnership with FCMB as a game-changer for Nigeria's SME ecosystem. By enhancing productivity and fostering innovation, the Accelerator Programme is poised to unlock unprecedented opportunities for startups and existing businesses, thereby fueling the nation's economic growth.
Scaling Success Stories
Oladimeji Olanrewaju, CEO of Sweet Indulgence by Bakhita, lauded FCMB for the opportunity presented through the Accelerator Programme. As a training grant recipient, Oladimeji expressed her anticipation of scaling up her business and making a meaningful impact in her community.
A Legacy of Support
With a robust track record of supporting SMEs, FCMB has disbursed over ₦1.343 trillion in credit to more than 98,000 SMEs across various sectors since 2018. This steadfast commitment has facilitated business expansion, enhanced productivity, and contributed to job creation, thereby driving inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Nigeria.
Championing Inclusive Growth
As a key player in Nigeria's financial landscape, FCMB Group Plc remains steadfast in its mission to foster inclusive and sustainable growth. Through strategic initiatives like the Accelerator Programme, FCMB is bridging the gap between aspirations and achievements, thereby creating a brighter future for entrepreneurs and communities alike.