Women in Business at First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB) are set to roll out zero-interest rate loans.

The aim of this is to support, grow and expand small and medium enterprises in the country.

The initiative will serve Nigerian women entrepreneurs in need of affordable and convenient funding to boost their businesses

The development is in line with the commitment of the bank to empower women-owned SMEs (existing and starting) through financial support and advisory and value-added products to enhance customer experience and overall contribution to the growth of the country.

FCMB continues to roll out initiatives that support local businesses as not too long ago, the bank created ‘HubOne’.

HubOne is a tech-themed co-working space that allows for partnerships, collaborations, and possible investments. Hub One is a professional office space with unmetered internet, constant power supply, coffee and a community of like minds.

The bank also established a dedicated desk for women-owned businesses under its Business Banking Group.

According to FCMB, the zero-interest loans/initiative has a time frame of three months

80 women every quarter would have access to mentorship and training and 40 of these will benefit from the loan. In a period of one year, 320 women will be mentored, while 160 women would benefit from the loan.

In addition to the loan, participating female customers would undergo capacity building programmes through training, and receive financial advisory services.

The Executive Director, Business Development of FCMB, Mrs Bukola Smith mentioned that women had become important assets for social and economic growth, going by their business undertakings and exploits in the establishment and management of SMEs.

She said “At FCMB, we recognise the noble efforts of women entrepreneurs in the areas of job and wealth creation.“

“Our zero-interest loan product will offer sustainable benefits and increase the productivity and contributions of women-owned SMEs.

It will further unravel and unleash the true potential of women in entrepreneurship so that they can take their respective businesses to greater heights and therefore compete favourably in the global environment.”

“We have also put in place structures to ensure transparent selection of beneficiaries. We will, hopefully, increase the number of beneficiaries on a yearly basis and keep enriching the other value-added advisory services to cater to the emerging and pressing challenges women face in their businesses.”

The Group Head, Business Banking and SMEs of FCMB, George Ogbonnaya, said we understand certain factors including lack of access to prompt funding, access to market and other support systems which combine to determine the success or failure of a sme.”

“we will continue to support our customers in the smes segment to overcome these challenges.”