First City Monument Bank (FCMB), a member of FCMB Group Plc, has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation to provide subsidized loans to 100,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to scale their operations to create work opportunities for young Nigerian women and men.
The program, which is part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Nigeria, aims to sustainably move Nigerian youth out of poverty. It is being executed through a novel $27.8 million (about N15.5 billion) MSME Revitalization Fund, ensuring that qualified MSMEs can access loans for their business at a single-digit interest rate. Seventy percent of the MSME Revitalization Fund targets women-owned MSMEs in agribusiness, the creative industry, and digital sector. The remaining 30 percent will be deployed to meet the funding needs of youth-owned enterprises and businesses run by vulnerable members within Nigeria.
Speaking on the partnership, the Managing Director, FCMB, Yemisi Edun, described it as a purpose-driven intervention that would further help break the barriers that limit MSMEs' productivity and overall success in Nigeria.
She said, "The past few years have been very challenging for individuals, households, and businesses in Nigeria. Now more than ever, all hands must be on deck to create opportunities that will sustainably enable people and businesses to find their footing and stand on more solid ground.
"We are proud to partner with the Mastercard Foundation to rebuild businesses, drive recovery, and stimulate economic growth by providing the much-needed support to Nigerians to engage in productive activities. As a caring and inclusive institution, we will deploy our products, services, and other excellent offerings to ensure that this partnership achieves the desired results."
The Mastercard Foundation's Country Head for Nigeria, Chidinma Lawanson, commented, "This partnership will enable us to scale our support to reach even more young people and communities that have been affected by the pandemic. Together with our partners and others, we will continue to ensure that our efforts enable young people, especially young women, to access quality education, skills, and financial services so that they can transition to dignified and fulfilling work."
A purpose beyond profit commercial banking institution, First City Monument Bank is a member of FCMB Group Plc, led by Ladi Balogun as Group Chief Executive. FCMB is committed to COVID-19 recovery, income equality and poverty reduction by easing credit constraints to disadvantaged individuals and businesses.
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
About Young Africa Works
Young Africa Works is the Mastercard Foundation's strategy to enable 30 million young people, particularly young women, across Africa to access dignified work. Africa will be home to the world's largest workforce, with 375 million young people entering the job market by 2030. With the right skills, these young people will contribute to Africa's global competitiveness and improve their lives and those of their communities.