UK to provide $100 million credit through FBN to support women entrepreneurs and small businesses in Nigeria   

22 Feb 2022: CDC Group, the U.K.’s development-finance arm is all set to provide a $100 million credit facility to First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. in order to support women-owned businesses and small companies in Africa’s largest economy.

The funding will “address the challenge of limited access to capital faced by under-banked and underserved groups in the country,” the firm said in an emailed statement Monday. About $30 million would be dedicated to providing credit lines for women entrepreneurs.

In an interview in Abuja, 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,” she said.

This will be the largest credit facility provided by CDC so far, and the first of its kind to target women owned businesses.

The facility will use First Bank’s 700 branches and 150,000 banking agents to make sure that the credit access is widespread throughout the nation. An estimated 59 million Nigerians, about a quarter of the population, are unbanked, according to CDC. 

Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive officer of the CDC Group, said in the statement. The facility will help “unlock the potential for entrepreneurial success and economic growth across the country,” he said.

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