It’s true that many Nigerian Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) are having a hard time starting and growing up their businesses due to the inaccessibility of business funding. The major reason that often kills great business ideas and perhaps the dreams of Nigerian entrepreneurs is their inability to meet the requirements of obtaining a bank loan. Banks, whether commercial, industry or development banks naturally offer the least interests funding for SMEs.
- First Bank Nigeria Plc
The First Bank of Nigeria has made plans to provide non-collateral loans for Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria. This initiative of the bank is aimed to empower economic growth in the Nigeria SME sector through their loan schemes. The great thing about First Bank’s unsecured loans is that it is easily accessible to entrepreneurs irrespective of the business type, location or size. As an interested entrepreneur, the only thing you need to do is to go through a psychometric test, pass the test and then provide the bank with your business plan and your business financial projections. And soon you will get your disbursement alert!
- Heritage Bank
Heritage Bank has also increased the accessibility to SMEs business funds in Nigeria. The bank has also built initiatives around promoting access to the market for SMEs. One of their major programs is the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Program (YIEDP) backed by the Central Bank of Nigeria – in recognition of its commitment to SME and Youth development. The programme is aimed at harnessing the latent entrepreneurial spirit among the teeming youths by providing timely and affordable loans to help implement their business ideas. The fund is to support youth corps members, market women and whoever desires to access business finances through short –term borrowing from the bank.
- Diamond Bank Plc
Diamond Bank Plc also offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to obtain loans without collateral. The bank’s non-collateral loans are designed to stimulate growth for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria. Diamond Bank Plc has about 5 SME friendly accounts that you can open and start with. If you want a loan without collaterals, you’ll have to look at the bank’s SME loan packages and choose the one that is best to you kind of business. Diamond Bank’s SME loans can be accessed in the form of: Revolving Credit, Installment Loan, Local Purchase Order (LPO) Finance and Contract Finance. Thus, Diamond Bank gives you access to short and medium term financing for working capital, as well as assets purchase needs with reduced collateral requirements.
- Wema Bank
Unlike other Nigerian banks, WEMA has more dealings with retail businesses. The bank has built its structure around retail banking, conducting transactions with market women and real SMEs. It is worthy to note that Wema Bank gives business loans from ₦100,000 to ₦1 million without any collateral. All you need to do is to have steady transactions for 6 months in your corporate account to qualify for their loan offers. To show their eagerness to give out these loans, the bank even has a loan calculator on its website – which helps interested loan applicants to calculate how much the bank would be expecting from your loan request.
- Stanbic IBTC Bank
The Stanbic IBTC Bank offers Nigerian entrepreneurs a great opportunity to obtain business loans without providing collateral. The loans are designed to help SMEs buy their business assets. However the assets only become your own when you make the last payment on the received loan. To apply for Stanbic IBTC non-collateral loan, you should be prepared to provide the bank with the following information:
- The full names and capacities of those who will sign;
- CV of each member of the management team;
- The reason why you need the business finance;
- Your business’ financial statements, including an income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements;
- Personal statements of assets and liabilities of all the partners, members or directors;
- A 12-month cash flow forecast or financial projections;
- The amount of your own contribution and the source of the funds.
Before you approach any of these banks for a non-collateral loan, it would be in your best interests to first open, run and maintain an account (corporate preferred) with such a bank for a period of 3 to 6 months. You should also be armed with a sound Business Plan and a solid Repayment Plan for the loan.