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W/Bank votes $4.8m for Grooming Center Microfinance to grow SMEs

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Resilient micro finance group, Grooming Centre MFB has signed an agreement with International Finance Corporation (IFC), a division of the World Bank to get a NGN 1.5 billion (about $4.8 million) loan meant to increase access to funding by small businesses in Nigeria.

IFC’s portfolio of microfinance clients in the Country consists of six institutions, collectively reaching more than 2.6 million borrowers.  Grooming Centre provides access to finance for entrepreneurs at the base of Nigeria’s economic pyramid.

In a statement, the bank said the facility will be used to reach entrepreneurs in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states, including those in remote rural areas largely underserved by other lenders.

The new facility will help Grooming Centre fund its branch expansion, grow its loan portfolio and offer increased financial services to an additional 270,000 entrepreneurs.

Chief Executive Officer of Grooming Centre, Dr. Godwin Nwabunka said, “Working with IFC reflects Grooming Centre’s commitment to empowering economically active low income earners. We are consistently seeking to expand our range of tailor-made microfinance services so we can reach more people and help them grow their businesses. Our goal is to increase economic activity of the lower income earners, strengthen the microfinance market and support economic growth in Nigeria”

In his remarks, Eme Essien Lore, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “IFC recognizes that MSMEs are growth engines. By supporting institutions with a strong track record like the Grooming Center, we are able to extend financial services to underserved or unserved micro-entrepreneurs especially women, in both rural and urban areas. Improving financial inclusion, boosts job creation and helps grow Nigeria’s economy.”

The MFb currently serves 510,000 active borrowers with loans as small as $200. In 2014, IFC provided a NGN 650 million loan which contributed to Grooming’s expansion activities. Its branch network has grown from 248 branches in 2013 to 410 in 2016.


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