• With fintech platforms, a growing number of entrepreneurs and small business owners can now get a loan without collateral in a seamless and fast way. 
  • SMEs in Africa constitute 50% of the continent's GDP, 60% of employment figures, and about 90% of all businesses.
  • Business Insider SSA looks at nine tech-enabled platforms that are granting a quick loan to SMEs in Nigeria.

Introduction

Over the years, accessibility to loan facilities for Small and Medium Scale enterprises (SMEs) from financial institutions has mostly been enjoyed by large corporations.

As the paradigm shifts to tech-enabled platforms, a growing number of entrepreneurs and small business owners can now get a loan without collateral in a seamless and fast way. 

It is only normal that these fintech firms initiate loan facilities that can be accessed by small and middle-scale entrepreneurs, they also compete to offer the best customer-relation products with competitive rates. 

File photo - SMEs in Nigeria
File photo - SMEs in Nigeria

This helps small business owners to bypass the headache of commercial banks requesting collateral and guarantors that may never be easy or available at all. 

ALSO READ: 8 money lending platforms in Nigeria and their interest rates

The need for SME loans

Per a 2018 PwC report, SMEs contribute 48% of national GDP, account for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment in Nigeria. This clearly shows that a healthy SME industry is vital for the growth of any economy.

Here are few digital platforms lending to SMEs in Nigeria:

1. Lidya - SME-only digital lender

Lidya is one of the leading platforms for small & medium business lending in emerging markets. Launched in November 2016, with a mission to close the credit gap, both in Nigeria and across emerging markets.

Businesses who are looking for $500 to $50,000 in working capital can apply online or via their mobile phone and get a decision within a few hours pending all requirements are satisfied. To assess credit risk, 

Lidya uses close to 100 data points to evaluate businesses, build a credit score unique to each business, and disburse loans based on credit profile of such enterprise.

  • Loan amount: N150,000+
  • Interest rate: 3.5% per month

2. Kiakia - Quick digital credit 

The Abuja-based digital lender offers swift loans to small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. Backed by Sterling Bank Plc, the lending platform also allows savers to lend out funds at negotiated interests through intuitive conversations.

  • Minimum Loan amount: N50,000
  • Interest rate: 3.5% per month

3. Renmoney – loan for micro-businesses

Renmoney provides micro-business loans up to N4 million. To get a Renmoney SME loan, your business must have a good income statement history and can boast of regular monthly earnings for repayments.

  • Minimum Loan Amount: N100,000
  • Interest rate: 2.8% per month

4. Carbon - Carbon for Business

Carbon, formerly Paylater recently launched Carbon for Business to serve startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and FinTechs with a loan to scale their businesses.

Carbon, like others, generates your credit Bank Verification Number (BVN) to determine your loan worth.

  • Loan amount: Up to N20 million
  • Interest: Varies

ALSO READ: 9 popular investment apps in Nigeria that make your money work for you

5. C24 - retail loans for consumers 

C24 is a financial institution that provides retail loans for consumers in need of quick financial solutions. The company is focused on delivering services that can be accessed online, from any internet-enabled device anywhere within Lagos, Nigeria.

  • Loan amount: Upto 5 million
  • Interest rate: 4% per month

6. QuickCheck - Online quick SME loans

This loan app helps Nigerians access instant online quick loans without collateral and is accessible to both employees and SME owners. 

  • Loan Amount: N1,500 - N500,000
  • Loan Interest: 5% per month

7. SMEDAN - Government-backed SME loan

SMEDAN is a government-backed initiative that offers quick business loans to Nigerian SME businesses in need of financing. The core mission of the organisation is to promote entrepreneurship among Nigerians and also provide capital to start the business.

Aside funding, SMEDAN also provides business owners with hands-on training and support to help them run their business. 

  • Minimum Loan Amount: N100,000
  • Interest Rate: 4%/month

8. Eazzicash - Business loan

EazziCash offers immediate financial needs for small business owners under two products classes. These are EazziAssist and EazziPawn.

  • Maximum Loan amount: N5 million
  • Interest rate: Not clear

9. FastCredit SME loan

FastCredit offers business loans to micro, small and medium enterprises to support business growth. The loans are backed by guarantors and are for a maximum tenor of 6 months for business owners that meet the criteria.

It presently operates in all the Southwestern states in Nigeria except Ekiti state. SMEs will need to show proof of business and residential address to be able to get instant FastCredit SME loan.

  • Minimum Loan Amount: 100,000
  • Loan Interest Rate: 4%/month.