Bank of Industry partners Grow Africa for venture capital funding, commits N1.2 bn into SMEs
Bank of Industry (BoI) on Monday announced it had made an investment commitment of 6 million dollars (about N1.2 billion) in Nigeria’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
In a statement released in Lagos, the bank said the investment commitment was through the 60-million dollar Venture Capital Fund being raised by Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited.
It explained that the Venture Capital Fund aims to provide equity capital.
BoI said this would be along with strategic and operational support to early stage and fast-growing businesses involved in technology, agriculture, consumer goods and services sectors.
The statement quoted Rasheed Olaoluwa, the BoI Managing Director, as saying: “Nigerian businesses cannot be built on debt alone.
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.’’
It also quoted Olaoluwa as further stating that the investment commitment was informed by the track record of Grow Africa’s partners.
Our commitment was also informed by the developmental impact of their existing portfolio and their strong pipeline for potential new investments,’’ he said.
The statement also quoted Adedotun Sulaiman, the Chairman of Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited, as saying Nigerian business could become global leaders with the right type of support.
Over the past 10 years, I have provided capital and advice which have helped several businesses grow from ideas into multi-billion Naira industrial leaders.
Through this partnership, I hope to see many more entrepreneurs realise their dreams of creating leading companies and delivering massive value to Nigeria.’’
On his part, Afam Edozie, the Managing Director of Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited, added: “We are extremely pleased with this partnership with BoI.
This is a strong signal of 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 will create additional fiscal revenue to government.
The Bank of Industry has demonstrated that they share our dedication and passion in helping to build world-class industries in Nigeria.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bank of Industry is Nigeria’s leading industrial development-financing company, with a loan portfolio of N592 billion.
The bank lends to projects in Nigeria’s real sectors of agro-processing, solid minerals, gas and petrochemicals, as well as engineering and technology.
It also supports SMEs through a network of 14 offices across Nigeria and 122 Business Development Services Providers (BDSPs)
NAN also reports that Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited is a Nigerian Venture Capital Fund Manager, which helps to develop outstanding entrepreneurs and businesses in Nigeria.
Grow Africa provides business advice, as well as equity capital to new and established companies.