Women entrepreneurs set to benefit $200 million from Union Bank

Women Entrepreneurs will benefit from a $200 million facility which has been secured by Union Bank to support women-led businesses.

This was disclosed by the lender in a notification to the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

The Details: The $200 million fund was secured by Union Bank in a partnership with sub-Saharan Africa financial services group, Atlas Mara Limited, and in agreement with Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the United States government’s development finance institution.

The fund is a 10-year term credit facility of up to $200 million from OPIC. It is expected to be utilized to encourage digitization, lend to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and provide funding for women-led businesses.

Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa, who was elated with the development, explained that the fund was in line with the bank’s commitment in empowering women-owned businesses.

We welcome this partnership with OPIC as we are well-positioned in Nigeria to further advance lending to key segments of the population, especially SMEs. The 10-year tenor of the OPIC facility provides flexibility to maximize impact across key sectors of the Nigerian economy as we continue to advance proven initiatives including those focused on women’s banking and financial inclusion,” Emuwa stated.

Acting President and CEO of OPIC, David Bohigian, said, “OPIC is delighted to partner with Atlas Mara and the team at Union Bank to drive inclusive lending in Nigeria. This funding benefits SMEs and women and will help serve the needs of underbanked and unbanked individuals and businesses while fostering entrepreneurship and economic development across Nigeria.”

What you should know: Earlier this year, Union Bank launched Alpher (α), a dynamic proposition aimed at uplifting women across all segments of the Nigerian society through capacity building opportunities, networking platforms, scholarships and tailored financial services for women.

Last year, Union Bank also introduced an innovative business acceleration programme, ‘Start up Connect’, which enables Nigerian businesses creating technology-based solutions to be more competitive in the rapidly expanding African technology market.

Union Bank has been consistent in providing innovative services where SMEs can access up to $20,000 per quarter for importation without opening Letters of Credit or Bills for Collection under the Form Q scheme.

About Union Bank: Established in 1917 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971, Union Bank is a household name and one of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions. The Bank has a network of over 300 sales and service centres across Nigeria.

Following recapitalization in 2012 from new investors and the appointment of a new Executive Management team, Union Bank has undergone an award-winning transformation to re-establish the Bank as a leading provider of financial services in Nigeria.

Union Bank is focused on Retail, Commercial and Corporate Banking. In addition to standard current and savings product portfolio, Union Bank has launched pioneering products into the Nigerian retail market including UnionKorrect, UnionGoal and UnionBetta.

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