The Bank of Industry (BOI) has launched a N1 billion fashion fund to boost the creative arts industry in Nigeria, noting that the fund is in fulfillment of the bank’s commitment to develop special funds and credit products targeted at specific Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) clusters and customer segments to deepen its penetration and enhance support to these clusters and customer segments. He said the fund was an initiative under the Gender Unit of the bank, and also targeted toward women-owned businesses only.
Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, explained that the Development Finance Institution (DFI) is excited about the fashion Fund because of the potential impact it promises to have on the Nigerian fashion industry and indeed on the entire economy.
The BOI MD during the official launch of the fund, stated that fashion is an international, highly globalised industry, with clothing often designed in one country, manufactured in another and sold worldwide, maintaining that globally, fashion industry revenue is over a trillion dollar
“BOI has so far recognized 34 cluster creations nationwide to drive our funding initiatives. So, we are able to tailor each cluster based on its peculiarities. We are excited about this fund because of the impact it is going to make in promoting job creation, especially among the youths because fashion business globally is worth about $1trillion. And with the growing population of over 170 million, increasing purchasing power of the middle class, it is obvious that fashion business is, and will be a money spinner for Nigeria’s economy in the next few years”, Olaoluwa said.
Mrs Funmi Ajila-Ladipo, President, Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), lauded BOI for the initiative and stated the loan would encourage more fashion entrepreneurs to expand their businesses while urging the bank to provide training, build capacity and guidance for budding entrepreneurs in the industry “as funding is not the only challenge facing the industry.’’
She said there was a need for BOI to encourage the creation of more production hubs and vocational centers and not focus on the end products only.
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