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Lack of support for SMEs in Nigeria: A clichéd notion left behind?

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From getting your business registered, to connecting with the right customers, seeking advice from established experts, and a little bit of capacity building, these are often considered smaller concerns than obtaining the funds you need to acquire inventory, working capital, and other assets that your venture requires to stay afloat, and, of course, start yielding sustainable profit.

Today, several banks strive to provide as much support as they can for SMEs and UBA seems to be in the limelight, considering their recent 50 million dollar loan deal with the German Development Finance Institution named Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), not to mention UBA’s SME Banking initiative.

The SME Banking initiative seeks to build businesses from the ground up by providing crucial services, including but not limited to:

Loans and Advances
Business registration
SME business accounts
Digital banking
Support and advisory
E commerce solutions
We’d take a close look at UBA’s SME Loans and Advances, showing you the range of financing options that can help you start and grow your business, no matter the sector in which you operate. Perhaps then, you can take advantage of these benefits for yourself.

Young Entrepreneur Finance Scheme (YEF)
We thought it’s only right to start off with the most pertinent – Support for young African entrepreneurs.

YEF is a financing scheme that UBA has put in place for young African entrepreneurs up to 18 years of age who have viable business ideas with a trajectory for growth.

To access the YEF loan – A minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $5,000 – you have to meet the following requirements:

Your business can be in any sector except Real Estate, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Weapons.
You must have an account domiciled with UBA. Your account should be at least a month old and supported with account statement covering a period of three months from your former bank.
You should be able to pay back the loan within a period of 7 years, except for startup businesses, which will be allowed a 6 months moratorium period.
Repayments will be made from the business proceeds irrevocably domiciled to UBA.

Working Capital Loan
Every business needs adequate cash flow to stay operational and be able to expand. UBA’s Working Capital Loan offers business owners up to 50, 000, 000 Naira (depending on the nature of your business and the collateral cover), payable over a period of 12 months.

The scheme takes special interest in women-owned businesses, granting them considerable interest-rate concessions.

You can access the loan as long as you have a verifiable credit net worth and satisfactory cash flow patterns.

SME Asset Finance
The UBA Asset Finance loan provides you the funds you need to purchase assets and expand your business. To qualify for the loan, which is a minimum of 4 million naira and a maximum of 50 million naira, your business should be in any of the following categories:

Agri-Business
Food & Drink
Wholesale/Retail Trade & Key Distributor
Educational Institution
Fintechs and Green Economy
Entertainment & Recreation
Exports
Professional Firms & Service Provider.
Other viable Business Segments
The required documentation for the loan includes:

Copy of a pro-forma invoice from a UBA-approved vendor.
Business proceeds must be irrevocably domiciled with UBA plc.
Insurance premium on each of the financed assets.
Evidence of a minimum equity contribution of 30%
An undertaking to formally inform the bank immediately you relocate to another address, thus moving the assets.
UBA School Loans
Targeted at registered privately-owned schools, UBA School Loans are designed to provide working capital, asset, and mortgage needs of these establishments.

You can access different packages based on what you need:

Short term loan of up to 5 million naira to be repaid within 12 months.
Asset Finance loan of up to 20 million naira to be repaid within 3 years.
Term loans of up to 100 million naira with a repayment period of up to 5 years.
To qualify for the loan, you must be able to provide:

Evidence of registration with the relevant regulatory bodies.
Duly completed KYC form.
Now you know the SME loans that UBA provides, we’d like to mention one more crucial product: The UBA FX Cash Backed Loan. It is not targeted at SMEs, but instead is meant for domiciliary account holders, income earners in FX, Nigerians in diaspora with FX accounts with UBA, beneficiaries of remittances from abroad, and customers with cash-funded FX deposits.

FX cash backed loans are designed to help customers access cash for investment purposes, as well as to ease the financial burden that comes with supporting your family at home and abroad.

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