The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has secured a N5 billion loan portfolio from Sterling Bank to support over 10,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. This strategic partnership aims to improve access to financing for Nigerian SMEs.
According to SMEDAN’s Director General, Charles Odii, a major barrier preventing small businesses from securing funding is the poor dissemination of information about government intervention programs. Odii emphasised that informing SMEs about available funds is just as crucial as securing the financing.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed between SMEDAN and Sterling Bank will create a N5 billion loan pool offered at a single-digit interest rate to SMEs across various sectors. Loans will range from N250,000 to N2.5 million. With this new loan portfolio, SMEDAN hopes to increase access to capital for up to 10,000 small enterprises in the country.
Sterling Bank, MD Abubakar Suleiman stated that no collateral would be required to access the loans. Borrowers will also benefit from a two-year repayment period. The loans will be delivered through Sterling Bank’s digital lending platform called “Banker,” which is designed specifically for SME lending and business financial management.
Even SMEs that fail to qualify for loans can gain insights into improving their business practices to access funding in the future by going through the loan application process on the Banker platform.