Proparco and the European Union (EU), have stated that they have supported First City Monument Bank Ltd (FCMB), through the financing of a €325,000 technical assistance (TA) programme.
The programme, Proparco said, will enable the bank develop its non-financial services offer, aimed at improving the financial inclusion of local Very Small and Medium Enterprises (VSEs) and women entrepreneurs in their entrepreneurial process.
Speaking in Lagos during a media visit to A4&T Power and Ventures Platform supporting Traction Apps, Proparco’s Chief Executive Officer, Françoise Lombard, said in 2022, Proparco announced a $20 million Trade Finance Guarantee Facility for Coronation Merchant Bank adding that this would enable the bank to establish and deepen partnerships with correspondent banks, thereby increasing access to trade finance in Nigeria.
She also stated that Africa holds the answers to many of the major challenges of the 21st century, “and unlocking its entrepreneurial dynamism is at the core of our strategy for the next five years.”
She averred that as Proparco mark an important milestone in Nigeria, it is committed to supporting the African private sector more effectively by enabling entrepreneurs to unleash their potential.
She remarked that in 2022, Proparco made a $5 mmillion equity investment into Ventures Platform; a seed fund for Africa designed to fill structural gaps by connecting underrepresented communities while improving livelihoods in Africa.
She noted that 50 innovative startups would be supported, specifically in the development of IT services (in the logistics, financial, e-commerce, education, transport and health sectors).
According to her, “In 2021, Proparco supported the Nigerian bank FCMB to strengthen its commitment to high-impact SMEs and climate projects. The operation consisted of a $35 million loan and a EURIZ portfolio guarantee of N5 billion (EUR 10 million equivalent) to support FCMB strategy to serve high-impact SMEs and for climate finance. As a result, FCMB’s client A4&T Power installed 1.5MWp of renewable capacity across mini-grids and customized systems for schools, health facilities, businesses, banks and communities impacting more than 100,000 people and creating 75 direct and indirect jobs.
“In 2021, Proparco, through the Digital Africa Bridge Fund, funded Metro Africa Xpress Inc. (“MAX”) – the largest vehicle subscription platform for low-to-zero emission vehicles in Africa. This was part of the $31 million of new capital injected in the first close of a Series B funding round. In 2021, Proparco allocated a portfolio guarantee to United Bank for Africa (UBA) to facilitate access to loans for Nigerian SMEs. Proparco’s operation will specifically contribute to financing SMEs in the education sector and SMEs set up by women.
The Regional Director of Proparco in Nigeria, Jean Guyonnet-Dupérat, revealed that Nigerian business people are extremely bold entrepreneurs with an unshakable dynamism.
“Our commitment as financial partners is to build trust and support them with the expertise and financial tools they need to grow beyond their target. Together, we serve one common objective: building a prosperous and sustainable future,” Guyonnet-Dupérat said