First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to provide subsidised loans to 100,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to scale their operations to create work opportunities for young Nigerian women and men.
The programme, which is part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Nigeria, aims to sustainably move Nigerian youth out of poverty.
It is being executed through a novel $27.8 million (about N15.5 billion) MSME Revitalisation Fund, ensuring that qualified MSMEs can access loans for their business at a single-digit interest rate.
Seventy per cent of the MSME Revitalisation Fund targets women-owned MSMEs in agribusiness, the creative industry, and digital sector.
Speaking on the partnership, the managing director of FCMB, Mrs. Yemisi Edun, described it as a purpose-driven intervention that would further help break the barriers that limit MSMEs’ productivity and overall success in Nigeria.
“The past few years have been very challenging for individuals, households, and businesses in Nigeria. Now more than ever, all hands must be on deck to create opportunities that will sustainably enable people and businesses to find their footing and stand on more solid ground,” she said.
In his remarks, the Foundation’s country head for Nigeria, Mrs. Chidinma Lawanson, said the partnership was aimed at supporting young people and communities in the post-COVID era.
“This partnership will enable us to scale our support to reach even more young people and communities that have been affected by the pandemic.
“Together with our partners and others, we will continue to ensure that our efforts enable young people, especially young women, to access quality education, skills, and financial services so that they can transition to dignified and fulfilling work,” she said.