FCMB deepens SMEs empowerment in Abia

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The Small and Medium-scale Enterprises and youths who desire to start businesses in Abia State now have a huge opportunity to actualise their dreams.

This is because First City Monument Bank has partnered the Abia State Government to provide financial and other technical support to existing and potential owners of the SMEs in the state under the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme.

Under the partnership, the FCMB is offering loans and technical support to eligible existing and aspiring young entrepreneurs who have viable business ideas.

“An individual can access up to N3m, while group projects jointly owned by three to five qualified beneficiaries can access up to N10m, payable in three years at an interest rate of nine per cent,” the lender said in a statement on Monday.

“Target beneficiaries are members of the NYSC (or those who not more than five years post-NYSC), those who possess a verifiable tertiary institution certificate and artisans with the First School Leaving Certificate or a technical certificate or accredited proficiency certificate from the National Board for Technical Education,” it added.

To ensure ease and convenience in accessing the facility as well as overall success of the partnership, the FCMB said it had developed a product under the YEDP and developed a website where prospective applicants could log in to apply.

Successful applicants will be given training in business success and development, courtesy of the FCMB and Central Bank of Nigeria.

Speaking at the Abia Mega Youth Summit held in the state on March 15, 2018, where the partnership between FCMB and the state government was launched,  the Executive Director, Business Development, FCMB, Mrs. Bukola Smith, described the financial institution’s intervention as another demonstration of its commitment to empowering the SMEs and youths in order to up-scale their contributions to the development of the country.

‘’We recognise the role of SMEs as drivers of Nigeria’s development and how youths can key into the opportunities,” she added.

The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, said the YEDP in the state had been designed to change the old ways of empowering youths by partnering strong institutions.

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