First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has launched an accelerator programme to upskill and grow over one million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
Partnering with SkillPaddy and other industry experts, the bank aims to equip startups and existing businesses with the skills and resources to develop innovative products and services, create new markets and fast-track growth.
The bank said it would upskill about one million SMEs through a technical assistance grant of ₦284.7 million from Proparco (the private-sector arm of the French Development Agency) and ₦227 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
These will enable FCMB to facilitate the successful onboarding and empowerment of SMEs, including women entrepreneurs, under its SheVentures proposition and those operating in high-impact sectors (agriculture, renewable energy, digital), it stated.
To kick off the programme, the lender awarded ₦50 million in grants to 200 SMEs who participated in the first training. The announcement was made at an event celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023.
“The FCMB Accelerator Programme reaffirms our dedication to empowering businesses effectively,” said FCMB’s Group Head of SME Banking, George Ogbonnaya.
He added: “We want to inspire Nigerians to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and build a portfolio of ready businesses that can transform Nigeria’s economy.”