Cordaid Investments provides a loan of 2 million euros to Fortis Microfinance Bank PLC in Nigeria, an MFI serving over 166.000 clients in the state of Abuja. The loan from Cordaid will enable Fortis to serve an additional 8000 low-income entrepreneurs active in the agricultural sector and in rural areas.
Fortis Microfinance Bank PLC (‘Fortis’) aims to foster financial inclusion in Nigeria. It currently has 14 branches in the state of Abuja serving over 166.000 clients with several loan products, specifically designed for the needs of its rural clients. In the states where it does not have a presence, Fortis operates with a subsidiary called SMC Multipurpose Cooperative Society. With 28 SMC branches located in 12 states, Fortis is able to reach out to female clients in fragile and rural areas.
“Access to finance for entrepreneurs provides a solid support to one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa”
Access to financial services
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with an estimated population of 178 million. Microfinance in Nigeria is still at a developing stage, with 46% of the population excluded from access to financial services.
Fortis was founded in 2007 and licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate as a National Microfinance Bank. Fortis provides microfinance services to support entrepreneurship and empowerment of the large unbanked population, with a focus on mostly female micro-clients and small enterprises.
With a strategy on accelerating digital finance and expanding financial access, Fortis is enabling disbursements and payments of loans to its clients through the Fortis Mobile Money platform. Fortis is the only Microfinance institution in Nigeria with a mobile payment banking license.
Microfinance in Nigeria is still at a developing stage, with 46% of the population excluded from access to financial services.
Cordaid creates opportunities for the worlds poorest, most vulnerable and excluded people. Cordaid is a social investor and invests in microfinance institutions and funds that offer loans, guarantees and capital to small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs, farmers, health clinics and other businesses that have limited other options. We focus on fragile contexts that involve a greater risk than other investors are willing to take.
Laure Wessemius, director Investements: “Giving access to finance to entrepreneurs provides a solid support to one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, especially when that support focuses on a target group of rural entrepreneurs or small-scale farmers.”