By Lydia Ngwakwe
First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. has announced the launch of the FirstGem fund (FirstGem loan) a single-digit loan scheme, targeted at female entrepreneurs.
Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney, the bank’s Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, made the announcement in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.
Ani-Mumuney said that the scheme was exclusively designed to put women at an advantage in contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.
She said, “we are delighted with the role our FirstGem product plays in creating an avenue to enlarge the business activities and endeavours of female entrepreneurs across the country.
“Our FirstGem value proposition offers real solutions to constraints encountered by female entrepreneurs and working professionals, as it exposes women to opportunities for the advancement of their business.
“We implore every female business-minded individual to take advantage of the FirstGem loan as it puts them at an advantage to contribute their quota to the national economy.”
Ani-Mumuney said the FirstGem loan scheme was designed for female-owned or partnered SMEs who were into food/beverage processing and packaging, beauty and cosmetics, confectionaries, catering and restaurants, transportation (Logistics) and agric/agro-allied (retail value chain).
She said that the FirstGem loan with an interest rate of nine per cent per annum was a collateral-free loan available to the bank’s existing and prospective female customers.
She said that based on eligibility customers could access loans from N500,000 to N3,000,000.
Ani-Mumuney said that FirstGem launched in 2016 had been impactful in driving financial inclusion, influencing women’s empowerment through gender-advancement programmes, financial literacy, wealth management and building an investment portfolio.
According to her, FirstGem is designed specifically to meet the needs of the female gender, aged 18 years and above.
She also said that the loan was targeted at a broad spectrum of women, working professionals, entrepreneurs or market women through an array of benefits such as free business advisory services.
She listed other benefits as access to finance, specialised training on business development initiatives, regular insights on business/investment opportunities and mouth-watering discounts at partner merchant outlets.
Ani-Mumuney urged female owned or partnered SMEs to visit the bank’s website to access the loan via https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/personal/loans/more-financing-options/firstgem-funds/.
She urged them to download and fill out the Retail Loan Application Form and submit the completed form to the nearest FirstBank branch with accompanying documents.