SMEs and Ventures

FCMB Launches The FCMB Accelerator Programme to Empower One Million SMEs

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has recently launched the FCMB accelerator program aimed at enhancing the skills and growth of over one million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. In collaboration with SkillPaddy and other industry experts, the bank’s objective is to equip startups and existing businesses with the necessary skills and resources to develop innovative products and services, explore new markets, and expedite their growth.

FCMB accelerator program partners

To achieve this goal, FCMB plans to upskill approximately one million SMEs through a Technical Assistance grant of ₦284.7 million from Proparco, the private-sector arm of the French Development Agency, and an additional ₦227 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB). These funds will enable FCMB to facilitate the successful onboarding and empowerment of SMEs, including women entrepreneurs, under its SheVentures proposition, as well as those operating in high-impact sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, and digital.

FCMB accelerator program beneficiaries

To kickstart the program, First City Monument Bank has already awarded ₦50 million in grants to 200 SMEs who actively participated in the initial training session. This significant announcement was made during an event commemorating Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023.

George Ogbonnaya, FCMB’s Group Head of SME banking, expressed the bank’s commitment to empowering businesses, stating, “The FCMB Accelerator Programme reaffirms our dedication to effectively empower businesses. We aim to inspire Nigerians to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and cultivate a portfolio of prepared businesses that can contribute to the transformation of Nigeria’s economy.”

FCMB is also devoted to supporting women-led SMEs. Ogbonnaya further added, “Through mentorship and access to finance, we will continue to empower these remarkable entrepreneurs.”

Kunle Erinle, Founder and CEO of SkillPaddy, emphasized the significance of the partnership with First City Monument Bank, stating, “This collaboration will be a game-changer for SMEs. By accelerating productivity, we can unlock doors of opportunity for startups and existing businesses, ultimately boosting Nigeria’s economic growth.”

Oladimeji Olanrewaju, CEO of Sweet Indulgence by Bakhita and a recipient of the training grant, expressed her excitement about the program and its potential impact on her business.

I express my gratitude to FCMB for providing me with this opportunity and eagerly anticipate expanding my business through this program.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has consistently demonstrated its commitment to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Since 2018, FCMB has provided a remarkable ₦1.343 trillion in credit to more than 98,000 SMEs operating in various sectors. This significant financial support has played a crucial role in helping these businesses overcome funding challenges, expand their operations, increase productivity, create job opportunities, and contribute to the overall economic development of the nation.

As a prominent advocate for SMEs in Nigeria, FCMB is a key subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc, a financial services holding company that actively promotes inclusive and sustainable growth within its communities. By facilitating connections between individuals, capital, and markets, FCMB Group Plc strives to foster an environment where businesses can thrive and contribute to the long-term prosperity of the nation.

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