Sterling/BoI N140b GEEP Partnership Targets Market Women

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Yemisi Izuora

Market women, traders, artisans and farmers would be major beneficiaries of the
Sterling Bank PLC and Bank of Industry (BOI) pilot phase of the N140 billion Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP).

The initiative aims at supporting micro business owners to grow their businesses.

The programme is targeted at over 16 million beneficiaries to foster financial inclusion and economic activity at the micro level.

Appointment of the bank is linked to its commitment to serving this segment of the population via its Agent Banking Scheme.

Agent Banking is a process of providing limited scale banking and financial services to the underserved population through engaged agents under a valid agency agreement, rather than a teller/ cashier. It is the owner of an outlet who conducts banking transactions on behalf of a bank.

Under the pilot phase, Sterling Bank would disburse loans ranging from N10,000 to N100,000 per beneficiary covering up to 15,000 beneficiaries. Target beneficiaries include market sellers and traders, artisans, enterprising youths and farmers.

Sterling Bank is reportedly the first financial institution to kick-off the financial inclusion and Agent Banking initiative in 2014 at Makoko, a Lagos suburb.

The bank runs a national Medium, Small, Micro Enterprise (MSME) Academy where small business owners are equipped on how best to manage their business successfully.

The bank has also confirmed that disbursement has commenced and the introduction of the mobile agent banking scheme using the BankOne solution provided by Appzone would facilitate easy disbursement of the fund to the beneficiaries.

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