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 their growth.
The bank aims to upskill about one million SMEs through a Technical Assistance grant of N284.7 million from Proparco (the private-sector arm of the French Development Agency) and another N227 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).
To kick off the programme, First City Monument Bank awarded N50 million in grants to 200 SMEs who participated in the first training session. This announcement was made at an event celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023.
“This partnership with First City Monument Bank will be a game-changer for SMEs,” said Kunle Erinle, Founder and CEO of SkillPaddy.
“By accelerating productivity, we can unlock doors of opportunity for startups and existing businesses, ultimately boosting Nigeria’s economic growth.”