SMEDAN And Sterling Bank Launch £5 Billion Loan Programme


SMEDAN And Sterling Bank Launch £5 Billion Loan Programme

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has partnered with Sterling Bank to launch a £5 Billion initiative named Databanc. This programme aims to provide affordable loans to small businesses that face difficulties in accessing finance.

Databanc was introduced in Lagos under the theme “Building with Data: Promoting Economic Growth through Data-Driven Insights”. The initiative focuses on offering loans with single-digit interest rates to Nano, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (NMSMEs).

Mr Bunmi Kole-Dawodu, SMEDAN’s Lagos State Manager, highlighted that this new funding tool is designed to support local businesses. It aims to improve their access to markets and the resources necessary for entrepreneurship.

The programme also seeks to enhance Nigeria’s export potential by collecting accurate data to help grow and sustain nano enterprises. This data-driven approach is seen as crucial for fostering business development.

Mr Kole-Dawodu pointed out the long-standing challenges that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face in obtaining financial support. He expressed confidence that this initiative would help address these issues effectively.

The platform will provide accurate information on nano, micro, and small businesses across Nigeria. This will facilitate the necessary business support to help these enterprises thrive.

The Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Charles Odii, emphasised the importance of data for the agency. Reliable data is essential for making informed economic decisions that can strengthen the small business ecosystem.

Mr Odii noted that SMEDAN aims to bridge the gap between the government and small businesses. The agency will continue its efforts to enhance livelihoods through such initiatives.

He observed that many businesses are not taking advantage of available support programmes. Databanc will help raise awareness about these opportunities and improve knowledge about small business products.

Mrs Bolanle Tyson, Head of SME Products at Sterling Bank, provided details about the loan programme. Databanc offers loans ranging from £500 to £5,000 for a one-year period, making it easier for small businesses to access funding.

Databanc is a formalised portal designed to provide funding without human intervention. It requires businesses to have a tax identification number and be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The platform assigns a unique identifier to each business, ensuring data integrity. This feature allows for better tracking and support of business development initiatives.

The SMEDAN Databanc Platform aims to unlock the potential of small businesses in Nigeria. By providing affordable loans and accurate data, it seeks to foster business growth and sustainability.

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