AfDB Okays $50m Loan For Nigerian Women Businesses
The board of directors of the African Development Bank has approved a loan of $50m to First City Monument Bank Limited to channel to local enterprises and women-empowered businesses in the agribusiness, manufacturing, healthcare and renewable energy sectors.
AfDB disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement titled ‘Nigeria: African Development Bank bolsters women-empowered businesses with $50m loan to FCMB bank’.
It said 30 per cent of the funds was intended to mitigate the effects of the challenging COVID-19 environment and earmarked for underserved women-empowered businesses.
It added that the bank would provide a technical assistance grant of $200,000 through its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative, supported by the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative.
The grant would complement the loan by enabling FCMB to provide non-financial services, including training, and to strengthen its monitoring and reporting functions, it stated.
The AfDB’s Director of Financial Sector Development, Stefan Nalletamby, said, “The African Development Bank is pleased to support FCMB’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.”
According to the statement, small- and medium-sized firms account for up to 80 per cent of employment in most African countries and women-empowered businesses typically face a considerable financing gap, it stated.
It noted that the Nigerian economy had been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that falling crude oil prices had had a ripple effect on the wider economy.
The statement said, “The project aligns with the objectives of AFAWA, which aims to improve gender inclusivity by improving access to finance for women entrepreneurs.
“The project also advances the bank’s 10-year strategy and is consistent with three of its High-five strategic priorities: Industrialise Africa, Feed Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. It also aligns with the Nigeria Country Strategy Paper 2020-2024.”
According to the statement, AfDB is an implementing partner of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, a groundbreaking partnership housed in the World Bank Group that aims to unlock financing for women-led businesses in developing countries.