First Bank of Nigeria will get a $100 million loan from the UK's development finance arm, CDC Group.
This move is to help support women-owned businesses and small-scale businesses in Nigeria.
The funding will help address the challenge of limited access to capital faced by under-banked and underserved groups in the country, the CDC Group said in an emailed statement Monday.
The firm agreed that a minimum of $30 million would be allocated in the form of credit lines to women entrepreneurs.
In an interview with the press in Abuja, the U.K. Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, said, "If you don’t support women and girls, you’re locking out half your country.
"Enabling women to start and grow businesses is absolutely key to delivering economic prosperity, helping countries grow, and tackling poverty."
The scheme will make use of First Bank’s 700 branches and 150,000 banking agents to improve credit access to approximately 59 million Nigerians that are unbanked. The CDC said
This gesture from the CDC will be the largest and the first to be directed at women entrepreneurs.
Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer of the CDC Group, promised to unlock the potential of women-owned businesses as the firm sees them as the drivers of economic growth in Nigeria.
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