First Bank launches single-digit loan for women-owned businesses  

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First Bank head office

First Bank has launched a product specially for women in business, tagged, FirstGem loan, a single-digit loan scheme. 

The bank announced the product in a statement its Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney released in which it gave details of the facility. 

It said, the loan scheme covers female-owned or partnered SMEs in various sectors of the economy adding that it was first launched in 2016 with the aim to driving financial inclusion, influencing women’s empowerment through gender-advancement programmes like savings culture, financial literacy, wealth-management and building an investment portfolio. 

The statement reads further, “The FirstGem loan scheme is designed for female-owned or partnered SMEs  in the following sectors  Food/Beverage processing & Packaging, Beauty and cosmetics, Confectionery, Catering & Restaurants, Transportation (Logistics) and Agric/Agro-Allied (retail value chain). With an interest rate of 9% per annum, FirstGem loan is a collateral-free loan that is available to the bank’s existing and prospective female customers. Based on eligibility, customers can access loans from N500,000.00 to N3,000,000.00. 

“To access the loan, Female owned or partnered SMEs can visit the Bank’s website – https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/personal/loans/more-financing-options/firstgem-funds/ – to download and fill out the Retail Loan Application Form. The completely filled form should be submitted to the nearest FirstBank branch with accompanying documents.” 

Speaking on the loan Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said, “we are delighted with the role our FirstGem product plays in creating an avenue to enlarge the business activities and endeavours of female entrepreneurs across the country. Our FirstGem value proposition offers real solutions to constraints encountered by female entrepreneurs and working professionals, as it exposes women to opportunities for the advancement of their business. We implore every female business-minded individual to take advantage of the FirstGem loan as it puts them at an advantage to contribute their quota to the national economy.” 

FirstGem  is targeted at a broad spectrum of women, working professionals, entrepreneurs or market women through an array of benefits such as free business advisory services, access to finance, specialized training on business development initiatives (virtual  and physical events),  regular insights on business / investment  opportunities and mouth-watering discounts at partner merchant outlets (spas, salons, grocery stores) offering  lifestyle products and services. 

Recently, FirstBank announced its partnership with CDC Group, the UK Government’s development finance organisation to economically empower women-owned and led businesses as well as local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. The facility, which is in the sum of US$100 million will have a minimum of 30% allocated in the form of credit lines to women entrepreneurs.  

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