“Apply Now”: SMEDAN Begins Disbursement of N5bn to Small Businesses

The Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has launched a new program to distribute loans to help small businesses grow. This initiative, in collaboration with Sterling Bank, offers a total of N5 billion in loans.

These loans are available at low-interest rates, making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprise owners to expand their operations. SMEDAN has simplified the application process, making it more straightforward and accessible than before. The agency aims to support small businesses to thrive and prosper.

Meeting the Criteria

Some businesses, however, are finding it challenging to meet the criteria set by Sterling Bank. SMEDAN is prepared to help these companies to navigate the application process. Charles Odii, Director-General of SMEDAN, and Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director of Sterling Bank, discussed these challenges at a meeting on May 14, 2024.

They reviewed the SMEDAN-Sterling loan program, which is committed to providing small businesses access to these funds at a single-digit interest rate. The goal is to make it easier for businesses to secure the necessary funding.

Addressing Challenges

While many businesses have successfully obtained loans, others are encountering difficulties. The bank has identified issues like business formalization that affect some businesses’ eligibility. To address this, they plan to improve the digital platform for applications, making the process smoother and helping applicants resolve any eligibility issues. They also promise to provide clear guidance online or at bank branches.

According to TheCable, SMEDAN will follow up with successful applicants to monitor their progress and offer support tailored to each business’s needs. This follows an agreement with Sterling Bank to extend a N5 billion loan facility to small businesses across Nigeria.

Empowering NYSC Members

In related news, the Nigerian government plans to award an N10 million grant to 5,000 members of the National Youth Service Corps. This grant is part of an entrepreneurial program aimed at supporting their business ventures post-service. This initiative is spearheaded by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, Minister of Youth Development, announced this at a meeting with the heads of Corps Producing Institutions in Abuja.

Sharing N200 Billion with Small Business Owners

Furthermore, the Nigerian government is set to distribute N200 billion to owners of micro, small, and medium enterprises. This initiative is part of the Presidential Intervention Fund started on October 17, 2023. It aims to assist Nigerians in coping with the economic impacts of the petrol subsidy removal and other challenges.

Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, highlighted this during an update. She noted the success of ongoing efforts to support one million nano-businesses across the country.

These efforts by SMEDAN, the Nigerian government, and other stakeholders demonstrate a strong commitment to fostering growth and development in the nation’s economy, particularly among small businesses and young entrepreneurs.


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