SMEDAN, Sterling Bank unveil N5bn loan for small businesses


The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), in collaboration with Sterling Bank Ltd, has unveiled the N5 billion initiative-Databanc loan to address financial gaps for small businesses.

Recall that the initiative was launched in Lagos with the theme: “Building with Data: Promoting Economic Growth through Data-Driven Insights.”

Databanc is a five billion single-digit loan to engender easier access to funds by Nano, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises ( NMSMEs).

The Lagos State manager, SMEDAN, Mr. Bunmi Kole-Dawodu said, the funding tool would be geared towards providing local and tailored support for business at the smallest levels.

Kole-Dawodu added that the funding tool would provide access to markets and all factors to drive entrepreneurship.

He said the initiative would aid Nigeria’s export potential and provide accurate data information about nano enterprises to drive their growth and sustainability.

Kole-Dawodu noted that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) had hitherto complained about not having easy access to financial interventions.

“Now this platform would provide accurate data on nano, micro and small businesses in Nigeria while facilitating the requisite business support for these businesses.

“It is important to have the support of business membership organisations to help encourage members to go on the platform and register to foster data-driven insights,” he said.

Kole-Dawodu restated SMEDAN’s commitment to the development of small businesses across the country and urged SMEs to trust in the agency for all-round support.

He pledged to collaborate with partners, stakeholders and business organisations to further advance the cause of small businesses in the country.

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The director general of SMEDAN, Mr Charles Odii, said, data was critical to the agency to help it make more informed economic decisions to build a small businesses ecosystem.

Odii said, the agency, as the vanguard for livelihood enhancement, would continue to bridge the gap between the government and small businesses.

“One thing we have observed is that businesses are not responding or taking advantage of the various interventions out there for them.

“Databanc as a platform would help build products’ knowledge about small businesses and it is very important for entrepreneurs to be aware of this to help grow their businesses,” he said.

Head of SME Products, Sterling Bank Ltd., Mrs Bolanle Tyson, said, Databanc was a five billion single-digit loan to engender easier access to funds by nano and micro businesses.

Tyson said the Databank, a formalised portal to access funding without a human interface for businesses with tax identification numbers, registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, provided funding from N250,000 to N2,500,000 for one year.

She said that with the “SMEDAN Databanc Platform,” NMSMEs would be appropriately captured with unique identifiers for business data integrity.

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