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Diamond Bank Plc said it has granted interest-free loans of N2 million to five operators of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) who emerged winners of its recently concluded “Borrow For Free Promo.”
As statement from the bank at the weekend, said the move was part of its contribution towards economic development in Nigeria.
It said the incentive was part of its objective of lending to small and medium scale enterprises in the country.
The bank revealed that the promo was conducted in collaboration with Seancross Marketing Limited, saying that it was designed to assist MSMEs understand the relationship between a business plan and access to finance.
“It was an opportunity for existing and new customers of the bank’s Diamond BusinessXpress Account, who had been asked to submit business plans on an existing or proposed business. The five MSMEs with the best business plans were selected and given the opportunity to obtain interest-free loans up to a maximum of N2 million each to expand existing business or start a new one,” the bank said.
Senior Advisor, Retail Banking, Garry Marsh, was quoted to have said that a total disbursable loan package of N10million was made available under the campaign, while the selection process involved several panels, which screened all the business proposals received at branch and regional levels, before passing a shortlist to a central committee who selected five from the pool.
“It was a painstaking process which involved a thorough review of over 500 business plans received from across our branch network over a 2 months campaign period. Each proposal was fairly assessed in terms of overall quality with specific attention to feasibility, innovation and business understanding” Marsh said.
Beneficiaries were Elizabeth Ejirika, a specialist in grain processing and sales; Tee Martins Global Resources Limited, Ozoemena Osita Francis, who also runs a Vegetable Oil Production firm; Questill Managers Limited and Invent Solutions Links Limited.
Commenting further, Marsh said: “The promotion has further enhanced Diamond Bank’s reputation as the MSME Bank of Nigeria. It required entrepreneurs to write a business plan – some of them did this for the first time. The discipline in doing so can only have enhanced their understanding of their own business and made them better business owners. The winners will now be able to utilise the free borrowing to implement their business plans and grow their business; we look forward to a long fruitful partnership with them.”