Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank has launched a Business Support Facility for Medium, Micro and Small Enterprises (MMSEs) in the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos , Mrs. Benedicta Sadoh, Group Head, Retail Assets and Liability, with Sterling Bank noted that the importance of small and medium business enterprises to an economy is enormous.
She said this was confirmed by several surveys and research conducted by the bank before the launch of the SME Banking Project recently.
Sadoh said MMSEs have a lot of challenges to contend with, particularly in the area of access to finance, adding that in line with the vision of the bank of impacting lives and developing solutions, Sterling Bank has developed a scheme known as the Business Support Facility.
The Business Support Facility is targeted at businesses that generate cash flow daily and the rental is monthly.
The scheme does not have a fixed interest rate because it is based on a digital score card which is a scoring process where information about the prospective customer is used to determine the applicable interest based on his financial worth.
The bank has set aside about N50 billion to meet the urgent needs of existing and potential customers in the SMEs space before the end of the year.
The Head of SMEs said the scheme is targeted at entrepreneurs to access loans to meet their urgent business needs and is payable over an extended period of 24 months.
Sadoh said the maximum amount of loan a customer with collateral could get is N20 million while those without collateral could get up to N5 million.
She added that the processing time is 48 hours and with minimal documentation.
In a bid to mitigate against business uncertainty, Sterling Bank will be working in partnership with some insurance companies to provide covers for defaulting customers.