By Onu Okorie
First City Monument Bank (FCMB), a member of FCMB Group Plc, has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to provide subsidized loans to 100,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to scale their operations to create work opportunities Nigerian youths.
The program, 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 Revitalization Fund, ensuring that qualified MSMEs can access loans for their business at a single-digit interest rate. Seventy percent of the MSME Revitalization Fund targets women-owned MSMEs in agribusiness, the creative industry, and digital sector. The remaining 30 percent will be deployed to meet the funding needs of youth-owned enterprises and businesses run by vulnerable members within Nigeria.
Speaking on the partnership, the Managing Director, FCMB, 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.
She said, “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.
“We are proud to partner with the Mastercard Foundation to rebuild businesses, drive recovery, and stimulate economic growth by providing the much-needed support to Nigerians to engage in productive activities. As a caring and inclusive institution, we will deploy our products, services, and other excellent offerings to ensure that this partnership achieves the desired results.”
The Mastercard Foundation’s Country Head for Nigeria, Chidinma Lawanson, commented, “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.”