What is FirstBank SME Connect

SME Connect is a FirstBank initiative designed for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. It is created to bring under one umbrella relevant resources, products and services aimed at helping SMEs.

First Bank has tailor-made products targeted at the specific needs of SMEs amongst which are loan products that have been designed to finance the activities of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the U-First Scheme.

First Bank provides business advisory and support services and business-oriented credit access for SMEs. FirstBank’s scope of SME services covers small/medium scale manufacturing firms, merchants (suppliers, distributors etc), professional firms (law, consulting, audit etc), agriculture, churches, mosques and NGOs whose annual debit turnover is between N5M and N500M.


How do you classify an SME?

SMEs for FirstBank can be classified as follows:

  • Small/medium scale manufacturing firms.
  • Small/medium retail merchants (suppliers, distributors, etc.)
  • Professional firms (law, consulting, audit, etc.)
  • Small/medium scale agricultural firms.
  • Churches, mosques and NGO.
Why are SMEs important?

SMEs are responsible for the majority of new jobs created in Nigeria and they are crucial to Nigeria’s success in the global economy, in the following ways:

  • For Government, SMEs, contribute to wealth creation and generate tax revenues.
  • In business, SMEs represent an important source of innovation.
  • In the society, they are an important source of employment.

SMEs drive consumption because they operate in every sector of the economy, and they have:

  • Extensive local knowledge of resources, supply patterns and purchasing trends.
  • Constitute an important source of local supply and service provisions to larger corporations.
  • Make a significant contribution to the revenue profile of most financial institutions.
  • Stimulate growth and development within the economy.
Key challenges faced by SMEs in Nigeria today include:
  • Poor capital structure.
  • The high cost of production.
  • Limited access to long term funds.
  • Poor business continuity/succession plans.
  • Weak value chain, (supply, distribution, logistics, time to market etc).
  • Poor managerial and technical skills.
  • Lack of access to international markets.


  • Labour-intensive production processes.
  • Key-man risk associated with sole proprietorship


At FirstBank, we are passionate about helping SMEs grow on all fronts.


Beyond financial support, FirstBank offers strategic advisory services, business seminars, periodic information updates as well as information that will guide you in growing your business.


Join us today, by clicking on: https://smeconnect.firstbanknigeria.com if you run an SME! You’ll be glad you did.

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