Addosser Microfinance Bank Limited last week launched the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Boutique to bridge financing gap among entrepreneurs. Ayodeji Taofi Sobulo, managing director/CEO, tells BusinessDay’s Hope Moses-Ashike more about the SME Boutique, among other issues. Excerpt:
About SME Boutique
Today, we are opening our new branch- SME Boutique. It is a branch that concentrates mainly on small medium enterprise businesses.
Why the SME boutique
The reason for the SME boutique is to identify the gap especially in the areas of access to financing for female entrepreneurs.
Impact of economic downtown
The general business outlook is adversely affected just as you said, especially with dwindling government revenue. But what Addosser Microfinance is doing is to focus on our co-business, which is retail or small businesses- which mainly do not require too much of foreign exchange. We are set up basically to help these ones grow. So, that has been our concern and strength over the years. The adversity is there but we have structured our business in such a way that we have been able to navigate all these negative tendencies and the business is growing.
Addosser’s position in terms of financial
In terms of financials, all the indices are positive. Our strength is basically on management, good corporate governance, and relationship management.
Amount accessed from N220 billion MSMED fund
From the CBN MSMED fund, we have been able to access N100 million. It has been disbursed and we are keeping our obligations with CBN. Our customers are paying too, so we have no negative report on that. We are still on the first tranche. We are looking forward to more funding.
Disbursement since inception
Since inception, the cumulative of total loans disbursed is about N12 billion to over 11,000 borrowers.
Client base and staff strength
Our staff strength is in the region of 150, and our client base about 60,000.
From our assessment, we have created about 5,000 and we are looking forward to improving on that figure year on year.
The current challenges of MFB
The biggest risk is default. But we have been able to do is to have a strong control, strong monitoring, good relationship management and we help our customers through their adversity. So our level of Non-Performing loans is low. We are still within the regulatory benchmark. For the industry as a whole, I think it is a double digit.
About having a national licence
We are looking at having a national license within the next 12 to 24 months.
The future for Addosser Microfinance bank
It’s fantastic and we believe that Addosser will be the first to reckon with in the microfinance sector.
Location of your branches
We have 14 branches currently, out of these 14, 12 are retail branches located mostly around markets like Alaba, Mile 2, Ikorodu, TejuOso, Oshodi. We concentrate on the retail business.
Banks pushing MFBs out of business
Each bank has its strength; each bank has its own vision. We don’t see the movement of commercial bank into the SMEs as a threat to our business. We carved a niche; we know our client. We are servicing them. In any case, the business is big. Once you have your area of strength and focus, competition is healthy. It is a welcome thing.
Rendition of returns
We have strong corporate governance. We keep to regulatory requirement on rendition of returns monthly, as and when due.
Why Addosser is growing
I can speak about what we are doing, and that is, focus. Of course we develop products that suit the needs of our clients. We have strong controls, good monitoring, and human capacity development in terms of training our employees.
Source : BusinessDay