In March 2019, First City Monument Bank Limited (FCMB) launched the SheVentures initiative with the aim of driving financial inclusion, equal opportunities and empowerment for female entrepreneurs. Sheventures was designed to engage, embolden and equip Women-owned/led Small Medium Enterprises with appropriate tools for growth and impact.
As an SME focused financial institution, FCMB is committed to leveraging its position in the industry to support female entrepreneurs to scale their businesses into sustainable ventures. Women-owned SMEs are a strategic focus for the Bank and the SheVentures initiative is the channel through which we bridge the financing gap and address other cultural barriers women are confronted within the business.
SheVentures propositions are anchored upon four key pillars – providing women-owned SMEs access to Capital, Information, Mentorship and Markets/Networks. This is to ensure that all business women can access appropriate capital and deploy the same effectively towards the growth, expansion and establishment of viable business ventures with the potential to scale into large corporations.
SheVentures Zero Interest Loan scheme was introduced at its launch one year ago. This product is aimed at providing small scale businesses in early growth stages with short term funding to bridge urgent financing needs. 91 women-owned SMEs have benefited from the scheme so far securing loan amounts ranging from five hundred thousand to five million naira. The impact of this loan on the business of the beneficiaries have been astounding.
SheVentures also trains and mentors women in business as a means of empowering them to thrive in their various fields. We trained over 2000 women across several states in Nigeria on various business management subjects while 240 women were given free mentorship programs since the launch of the program last year. SheVentures propositions are cutting edge and impactful, creating wonder women with wonder ventures across the nation.
SheVentures propositions are as much a statement of substance as it is one of intent. We are passionate about supporting women in business and our primary objective is to encourage women to operate structured businesses that can attract investments and develop into large corporations. The offerings of the proposition, especially the zero-interest loan, training and mentorship programs are tailored to offer sustainable benefits which increase productivity and the contributions of women-owned SMEs.
With a clear understanding of its market and environment, FCMB is well positioned to continue to create value by delivering exceptional services, while enhancing the growth and achievement of the personal and business aspirations of our women.
Yetunde Moito is a seasoned Banker with 15 years’ experience in business development within the Retail & SME Banking Segment. Her proficiencies lie in client acquisition, relationship management, branch development, product creation and marketing and strategic management. She currently heads the Women in Business segment in First City Monument Bank Limited called FCMB SheVentures; where she drives financial inclusion and growth of Women (owned) SMEs.