In Nigeria, the creative industry plays a vital role in economic growth. Apart from providing jobs to many people, this sector also contributes revenue worth billions to the country. Besides, it serves as a vehicle for exporting Nigerian culture to the world.
Although the creative industry has immense benefits, it is not easy for creators to access loans. Most banks feel that creative businesses might not be able to repay such loans.
However, the Central Bank of Nigeria has come up with a scheme that lends money to entrepreneurs in the creative sector. It is called the Creative Industry Financial Initiative. These funds can improve the sector in various ways.
What is CIFI Loan?
The CIFI Loan is a Nigerian government-backed initiative for providing loans to businesses in the creative industry. Formed from a partnership between the CBN and Banker’s Forum, the loans offered are long-term with low-interest rates. Although it is a CBN Loan, loan applications are submitted through commercial banks.
How Does CIFI Loan Work?
The CIFI Loan includes several categories such as movie/music production and distribution, fashion, information technology, and software engineering. Under each category, eligible entrepreneurs are offered loans based on their respective fields.
- Movie distribution businesses can get up to ₦500 million
- Movie production businesses are eligible for ₦30 million
- Software engineering businesses qualify for loans of up to ₦3 million
- Information technology/fashion design businesses are qualified for loans that cover expenses such as rent and other service fees
- Entrepreneurs in music can get loans for training fees, rental/service fees, and equipment fees.
Who is Eligible and Requirements?
- Must have a business in the creative industry (e.g. fashion design, music production or distribution, movie producer or distribution, information technology and software development)
- Must have a business registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission.
- A proposal with a complete description of your financial plan and projections. This document should include the economic benefits of your business and the repayment plan.
- A CRMS report listing the owners, directors, and sponsors of the business
- Credit Bureau Report without any unpaid obligations
- Valid means of identification
- Active bank account
- A valid email address and phone number
- Bank Verification Number (BVN)
- Tax Identification Number
How Much Can You Get?
With the CIFI Loan program, you can get various amounts of money based on your creative field. For instance, a software developer can access a ₦3 million loan while people in the movie production/distribution business can get ₦50 million.
However, music producers and distributors are offered ₦500 million. As for IT entrepreneurs, fashion designers, and music businesses, they can get loans to cover fees, equipment, and rentals.
What is the CIFI Interest Rate?
All CIFI Loans come with an annual interest rate of 9%.
How to Apply for CIFI Loan
To get the CIFI Loan, you will have to prepare a clear business proposal that describes every aspect of your business including its financial cost. Then head to your bank and make an application. If the application is verified by the bank, you will become a beneficiary of the CIFI Loan.
How to Pay Back CIFI Loan?
Under the CIFI Loan, the repayment plan depends on the category of a creative business. For instance, fashion design, software engineering, and music loans have a repayment period of ten years. As for movie producers and distributors, they also have up to 10 years to repay their CIFI