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The N5 Billion Loan Program

Single-digit interest rate facility

designed to drive business growth

Starting a new venture or expanding your business? Unlock your SME’s potential with the SMEDAN N5bn loan program and power your business towards success.

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SMEDAN and Sterling logo side by side

Sterling and SMEDAN Partner to Empower SMEs

In Nigeria’s fast-paced economy, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are crucial for driving growth and job creation. At Sterling, in partnership with SMEDAN, we’re making a real difference for these businesses.

Here’s our promise: if you’re an SME with a clean credit record, a registered business, and ongoing operations, you’re eligible for our fully digital, collateral-free loan facility. This loan is more than just funding; it’s a launchpad for growth. Perform well with this initial support, and you’ll pave the way to larger commercial loans.

We won’t leave you in the dark. Instead, we’ll provide clear feedback on why and guide you on improving your business to become bankable. It’s not just about providing loans; it’s about fostering growth and potential in every SME we engage with. This is your opportunity to expand and strengthen your role in Nigeria’s economic landscape.

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Our Pledge

Sterling, deeply committed to national development, has pledged N5 billion in single-digit loans to eligible SMEs. This game-changing initiative stands as a testament to the bank’s unwavering belief in the transformative power of small businesses.

To ensure seamless access to these loans, Sterling has partnered with SMEDAN, a government agency dedicated to the development and promotion of SMEs in Nigeria. This strategic alliance has resulted in the establishment of a comprehensive database of SMEs, enabling tailored solutions and intervention programs that foster SME growth.

Here's why you should seize this opportunity:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the SMEDAN/Sterling Lending Scheme all about?

The SMEDAN/Sterling loan is a single digit interest rate loan targeted at Nano, Small and Medium Sized businesses in Nigeria, designed to aid and drive business growth while contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy. This is part of Sterling Bank’s continuous effort to support small businesses in the country to grow and scale their businesses, which aligns with the SMEDAN mandate.

How can a customer access this loan?

The SMEDAN/Sterling loan can be accessed through a 2-step process:

  • Step 1 – The customer would need to sign up on the SME Databanc platform powered by SMEDAN to generate a Promoter and Business ID, which are required for the application.
  • Step 2 – The customer should then download the Banca by Sterling mobile app from Google Play or AppStore, sign up and apply.
    You will be notified as soon as the platform is open for application
Is this a grant for small businesses?

No. It is not a grant, but a Sterling bank loan subsidized to support small business growth, based on the partnership with SMEDAN

Is this powered by the Federal Government?

No. This is a Sterling Bank initiative from the partnership with SMEDAN to drive economic growth through small business development.

What type of businesses are eligible to apply?

The SMEDAN/Sterling loan is open to businesses that are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) at the time of application and have been in operation for at least 18months.

What if my business has been in operations for at least 18 months but not yet registered with CAC nor have my TIN?

You will need to register your business with the CAC to access the loan application and get your TIN from the relevant agencies. If you need support, you can visit for guidance and assistance.

Are there business types that are exempted?

Yes, exempted businesses include specialized businesses such as haulage companies, petrol stations, healthcare facilities, schools, and firearms/armory businesses.

How are applications evaluated?

The accounts of the business with Sterling or other banks will be analyzed based on our lending criteria before a decision is made on eligibility.

Does the loan require collateral?

No, collateral is not required to access the SMEDAN/Sterling loan.

What is the maximum amount a customer can get? 

The maximum available amount is Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira Only (N2,500,000).

What is the minimum amount a customer can get? 

The minimum available amount is Two hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira Only (N250,000).

What is the maximum tenor for repayment? 

The maximum tenor for repaying the loan is 12 months. 

What is the interest rate?

The interest rate for the SMEDAN/Sterling loan is a single digit (less than 10%).

Are there any hidden charges?

There are no hidden charges. If a customer’s application is approved, they will only be charged a 1% management fee and a 2.5% insurance fee, both of which will be collected upfront after disbursement.

What information is required as part of the application?

The following information will be required from customers applying for the SMEDAN/Sterling loan:

  • Business Name
    RC/BN number
    Tax identification number for the business
    Date of incorporation of the business
    Business Account number for analysis
    Bank Verification Number
    Promoter name
Is the Sterling/SMEDAN Loan program available to new-to-bank customers or businesses transacting with other banks?

This loan is available to both Sterling and Non-Sterling account holders, however customers will be required to open and run Sterling Business Accounts after their loan applications have been approved.

For more information, please send an email to  [email protected]

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