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BoI, Grow Africa To Fund SMEs With N11.94bn

In a bid to expand its intervention in the industrial sector through loan disbursements, the Bank of Industry has partnered Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited to raise a $60m Venture Capital Fund for small businesses.
Under the arrangement, the bank has made an investment commitment of $6m to aid provision of equity capital for fast-growing businesses.
The Venture Capital Fund aims to provide equity capital along with strategic and operational support to early stage and fast-growing businesses involved in technology, agriculture, consumer goods and services sectors.
BoI’s Managing Director, Rasheed Olaoluwa, said this in a statement at the weekend, that Nigerian businesses could not be built on debt alone.
He said, “It has long been part of the bank’s vision to find ways to provide sorely needed equity capital and business advice to promising Nigerian businesses.
“Our partnership with Grow Africa is one of the avenues for realising this vision and we remain committed to the pursuit of our core mandate of providing long-term financial support to small, medium and large companies/projects in Nigeria’s key sectors.”
Olaoluwa added that the investment commitment was informed by the track record of Grow Africa’s partners, the developmental impact of their existing portfolio and their strong pipeline for potential new investments.
On his part, the Chairman of Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited, Adedotun Sulaiman, noted that with the right type of support, Nigerian business could become global leaders.
Sulaiman, who also chairs the Boards of Interswitch, SecureID, IDEA, New Horizons and others, said, “Over the past 10 years, I have provided capital and advice that have helped several businesses grow from ideas into multibillion-naira industrial leaders.
“Through this partnership, I hope to see many more entrepreneurs realising their dreams of creating leading companies and delivering massive value to Nigeria.”
The Managing Director of Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited, Afam Edozie, said, “We are extremely pleased with this partnership, and this signals the bank’s commitment to supporting indigenous fund managers to catalyse growth and sustainable development in Nigeria.
“This new investment will increase development impact and socio-economic benefits through the creation of additional jobs, development of local entrepreneurship and additional fiscal revenue for government.
“The Bank of Industry has demonstrated that they share our dedication and passion in helping to build world-class industries in Nigeria.”
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