BusinessFCMB Launches Accelerator Programme To Empower Over 1m SMEs

FCMB Launches Accelerator Programme To Empower Over 1m SMEs

February 11, (THEWILL) – First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has initiated an accelerator programme in collaboration with SkillPaddy and other industry experts to empower and upskill over one million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

The programme aims to equip startups and existing businesses with the skills and resources needed to develop innovative products and services, create new markets, and accelerate their growth.

FCMB secured Technical Assistance grants totaling N511.7 million from Proparco and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the upskilling of SMEs, including women entrepreneurs and those operating in high-impact sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, and digital.

The bank kicked off the program by awarding N50 million in grants to 200 SMEs who participated in the first training session, announced during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023.

George Ogbonnaya, FCMB’s Group Head of SME banking, emphasised the bank’s commitment to empowering businesses and inspiring Nigerians to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

FCMB places a strong emphasis on supporting women-led SMEs, offering mentorship and access to finance to empower these entrepreneurs. Kunle Erinle, Founder and CEO of SkillPaddy, described the partnership as a game-changer for SMEs, highlighting the potential to accelerate productivity and unlock opportunities for startups and existing businesses

Oladimeji Olanrewaju, CEO of Sweet Indulgence by Bakhita and a beneficiary of the training grant expressed gratitude to FCMB for the opportunity to scale up her business through the programme.

FCMB has a history of supporting SMEs, having extended N1.343 trillion in credit to over 98,000 SMEs since 2018. This support has enabled SMEs to address funding gaps, expand operations, boost productivity, create jobs, and contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth.

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