SMEDAN, Sterling bank launch N5 billion single interest loan for small businesses

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), in partnership with Sterling Bank Ltd., launched a N5 billion initiative called Databanc on Monday to bridge financial gaps for small businesses.

The initiative, aimed at facilitating access to single-digit interest loans for Nano, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (NMSMEs), was unveiled in Lagos under the theme “Building with Data: Promoting Economic Growth through Data-Driven Insights.”

Mr. Bunmi Kole-Dawodu, SMEDAN’s Lagos State Manager, stated that this funding tool is designed to offer localized support to small businesses, enhancing their access to markets and necessary resources for entrepreneurship.

The initiative also aims to boost Nigeria’s export potential by providing accurate data to drive the growth and sustainability of nano enterprises.

He explained that SMEs have long faced challenges accessing financial interventions, which this initiative seeks to address.

He stated, “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,”

Director-General of SMEDAN

The Director General of SMEDAN, Mr. Charles Odii, emphasized the importance of data for the agency in making informed economic decisions to strengthen the small business ecosystem.

He stated that as the leading force for livelihood enhancement, SMEDAN will continue to bridge the gap between the government and small businesses.

He said, “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,”

Loan amount and tenure

Mrs. Bolanle Tyson, Head of SME Products at Sterling Bank Ltd., explained that Databanc is a N5 billion single-digit interest loan initiative designed to facilitate easier access to funds for nano and micro businesses.

She noted that Databanc is a formalized portal for accessing funding without human intervention, and caters to businesses with a tax identification number and registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The platform offers loans ranging from N250,000 to N2,500,000 for a one-year period. She added that the “SMEDAN Databanc Platform” ensures NMSMEs are accurately recorded with unique identifiers, maintaining business data integrity.

In her words, “The platform has a unique promoter ID, unique business ID generated for each business owner with seamless onboarding experience to provide exclusive business development and support initiatives generated through SMEDAN.”
“It makes it easier to track businesses and provide creative solutions to foster business growth and sustainability by unlocking businesses’ potential with the SMEDAN N5bn loan program for success,”


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