The African Development Bank will loan $50 million to First City Monument Bank (FCMB) in Nigeria to channel to local enterprises and women-empowered business in agribusiness, manufacturing, healthcare and renewable energy businesses.
The funds are meant to mitigate the effect of the challenging COVID-19 affected economic environment and 30% is earmarked for underserved women-empowered businesses.
The bank will also provide a technical assistance grant of $200,000 through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative, which is supported by the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative. That grant will complement the loan by enabling FCMB to provide non-financial services, including training and to strengthen its monitoring and reporting function.
Stefan Nalletamby, director of the AfDB’s financial sector development said they were pleased to support FDMB’s strategy to become a dominant player in addressing the funding needs of women-empowered and local enterprises. “This project will extend valuable resources to critical but underserved segments during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with its adverse macroeconomic impacts.”
Women of Nigeria face a financing gap
Small and medium sized business account for almost 80% of employment in most African countries, but women-led business typically face a considerable financing gap. Like most African economies, Nigeria has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but falling crude oil prices have had a particularly negative ripple effect on their wider economy.
Have you read?
More localisation of Nigeria’s oil industry on the cards
FCMB’s project aligns neatly with the AfDB’s AFAWA objectives, which are about improving gender inclusivity by improving access to finance for women entrepreneurs. The project also advances the AfDB’s Ten-Year Strategy and is consistent with three of its High-5 strategic priorities – Industrialise Africa, Feed Africa and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa. It also aligns with the Nigeria’s Country Strategy Paper 2020-2024.
The AfDB is an implementing partner of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, a groundbreaking partnership housed in the World Bank Group that is meant to unlock financing for women-led businesses in developing countries.