First City Monument Bank Plc introduced a value-added initiative called SheVentures for women-owned Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
In a report, it said the initiative would provide enhanced support to existing and upcoming women-owned SMEs through access to finance, training and mentoring, to boost their business in a sustainable manner.
The report read in part, “This initiative is the FCMB Women in Business Unit and was launched at an impressive ceremony recently in Lagos as part of the bank’s activities to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day under the theme, ‘Balancing for better.’ At the ceremony, some women SME operators received loans ranging from N500,000 to N5,000,000.”
FCMB explained that SheVentures was anchored on a unique selling proposition of “Be you,’’ which connotes confidence, independence and the courage required by women to fulfil their aspirations. It added that it was designed to engage, inspire and equip potential and existing women entrepreneurs to take bold steps that would launch their businesses to greater heights.
The bank said, “SheVentures comes with several cutting-edge features and benefits for women-owned SMEs. One of such is the zero-interest rate for an initial period of three months.
“In addition, FCMB will organise free training and mentoring programmes for 80 women entrepreneurs every quarter, out of which 40 of them will access this loan. This means that by the end of the year, the financial institution would have mentored 320 women and 160 of them would receive the bank’s support.”
At the launch ceremony, the Managing Director, FCMB, Mr Adam Nuru, said the bank strongly believed in the power of entrepreneurship.
He stated further, “The platform we have created through SheVentures proposition is both a community and a channel to bring the best of opportunities, growth and fulfilment to women entrepreneurs. This would inspire and enable them to go the extra mile to contribute significantly to national development.
“While our primary objective is to encourage many women to venture into business, we are doing this in an exciting and highly rewarding manner for our customers in line with our new core values of execution, professionalism, innovation and customer-focus.’’
The contribution of women to economic development could not be understated, noting that over 30 per cent of businesses owned globally were either female-owned or managed as women-established businesses at a much faster rate than men, thereby making significant contributions to job creation and economic growth. He added.