The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) has become a member of the SME Finance Forum, a global membership network that brings together financial institutions, technology companies, and development finance institutions to share knowledge, spur innovation, and promote the growth of SMEs.

Established by the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) in 2012, the SME Finance Forum was set up as a knowledge center for data, research and best practice in promoting SME finance. As an implementing partner for the GPFI, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) was tasked with managing the initiative.

Accepting DBN into the Forum, Chief Executive Officer, SME Finance Forum, Matthew Gamser, said that the forum was proud to have the Development Bank of Nigeria joining its network of 140 members who work to expand access to finance for small and medium businesses.

He explained that it had been discovered that 200 million businesses worldwide needed financing to invest, grow and create new jobs.

Expressing delight on the announcement of DBN’s reception into the forum, the Managing Director/CEO, Development Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, said management of the bank was excited to expand its knowledge of SME financing and believe participation in the SME Finance Forum member working groups will afford it with a plethora of networking and developmental opportunities.

Founded in 2014, DBN focuses on alleviating financing constraints faced by MSMEs and small corporations in Nigeria through the provision of financing and partial credit guarantees to eligible financial intermediaries, on a market-conforming and fully financially sustainable basis.

The bank supports inclusive growth and provides wholesale funding to fill identified enterprise financing gaps in the MSME sector. In 2017, the bank disbursed a total of N5bn to microfinance institutions for on-lending to over 20,000 MSMEs across the country”, Gamser noted.

DBN was conceived by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in collaboration with global development partners to address the major financing challenges facing Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

The bank is a wholesale Development Finance Institution (DFI) providing sustainable financing through eligible Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), who in turn, lend to end-borrowers – Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for the development of that segment.