In a groundbreaking partnership, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Sterling Bank have joined forces to offer a total of ₦5 billion in single-digit, non-collateralized loans to Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs). The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing this collaboration was signed on Wednesday, November 22, at the SMEDAN Corporate Headquarters in Idu, Abuja.
Expressing his gratitude, Mr. Charles Odii, the Director General of SMEDAN, commended Sterling Bank for taking a proactive step in providing affordable, accessible, and available funding for SMEs at a single-digit interest rate. He emphasized the significance of this milestone for the growth and sustainability of MSMEs.
In response, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, the Managing Director/CEO of Sterling Bank, conveyed optimism about the new partnership. He stressed the importance of MSMEs maintaining proper financial records, separating personal funds from business funds, and acquiring the necessary knowledge for business sustainability. Additionally, he pledged Sterling Bank’s commitment to collaborating with SMEDAN in establishing a robust platform for SME data in Nigeria, a move that will democratize access to finance for MSMEs.
MSMEs interested in accessing these funds are encouraged to visit www.smedan.gov.ng/smedansterling to apply. The loan amounts range from ₦250,000 to ₦2,500,000, depending on the business’s record status. Successful repayment qualifies MSMEs for higher sums to support business growth or expansion.
Mr. Charles Odii urged the dissemination of information about these funds to every corner of Nigeria, recognizing that previous government-funded initiatives often suffered from a lack of awareness or understanding of the application procedures among MSMEs. He reaffirmed SMEDAN’s commitment, under his leadership, to securing more SME-friendly funds and ensuring widespread dissemination of such information within the MSME ecosystem. This collaboration represents a significant step towards empowering MSMEs and fostering economic growth in Nigeria.