All you need to know about the Access Bank & CBN Creative Fund Initiative

If you run a creative or fashion enterprise or consider yourself a creative, you might have received the forwarded Whatsaap message that circulated some months ago. It came in the form of a pdf attachment titled “CCD Circular – Creative Industry Financing” yes? Us too!

Like us, you were probably excited and opened the attachment without hesitation, excited to read it’s content only to quickly discover it was a general and at best a vague description of different loan amounts you could get from CBN. You probably shared with fellow creative friends and moved on with your life.

On Wednesday 4th July, Access Bank hosted a CBN Creative Fund forum to inform fashion entrepreneurs about the recently launched CBN fund and how to access it. Access bank invited us and our community members to learn all about this fund and ask questions. This was a great initiative to host creative entrepreneurs to demystify this ₦21.9billion intervention fund that the CBN want to disburse through the country’s banks.

For those of you who couldn’t attend, we’ve summed up the information shared at the forum;

Access Bank CBN Creative Fund forum The Assembly

Ayodele Olujede, Head Emerging Business, Access Bank


What is the Creative Industry Fund Initiative?

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee have introduced the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) with an objective to boost job creation among youths. This fund will be available to individuals as well as Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in selected service sectors such as Fashion, Entertainment (Music, Movie Production and Distribution) and Information Technology (IT).

Chizoma Okoli, Executive Director Business Banking Division, stated at the forum that Access Bank was the first and only financial institution thus far to have submitted an application regarding this intervention bank and stressed how much the bank wishes to support the growth of the sector as they believe this sector unlocks the power to economic empowerment and job creation.

Access Bank CBN Creative Fund forum The Assembly

Chizoma Okoli, Executive Director Business Banking Division

Alright, sounds good, so how do I get my slice of the pie?

So first things first, the Zonal Head of Business Banking Division in Access Bank, Mr Abidemi Adeboye who was also part of the CBN CIFI committee, shared that businesses that could demonstrate these core areas would put your business high up the eligibility ladder;

  • Job Creation
  • Training and Capacity Building
  • The potential to foster foreign exchange (exporting goods and services and bringing back foreign currency)

You must also be able to demonstrate the capacity and your plan for paying the loan back and that the business is/has the potential of being sustainable (generate revenue, run on its own, and stand the test of time).

Mr Adeboye also stated that for the fashion industry, the loan repayment period is a maximum of 10 years at a maximum interest rate of 9% per annum (all charges inclusive) and loan applications would be treated on a case by case basis, which is pretty decent considering the other loan facilities that have been on offer.

A closer look at the eligibility requirements:

  • Business plan: You must have a business plan that shows a detailed value proposition. It must clearly point out your target market, your distribution process, income statement and your projections.
  • Financial Plan
  • Economic Benefits
  • 3 years audited accounts for established companies or statement of affairs for startups and companies with less than 3 years of existence
  • Copies of duly executed offer documents between the bank and loan applicants
  • Certificate of Incorporation (You must be legally registered under CAC as a business name or company)
  • At least 2 credit reports for the company and each director
  • Proposed schedule for Loan Repayment
  • Board Credit Committee Report (where applicable)
  • CBN Intervention(s) which project is currently benefitting from (CIFI)
  • Outstanding Obligations from other Interventions
  • Provision of evidence for any of the following: Minimum equity of contributions – 30%, Legal Mortgage.

So no grandma’s left arm and leg here.

Access Bank CBN Creative Fund forum The Assembly

Ms Chizoma Okoli also reiterated the role of Access Bank in assisting business owners especially in the fashion industry and shared that their branches are open to anyone to walk in and submit their application.

Our key takeaways from the forum is that this loan facility isn’t for everyone and if it’s not for you, no sweat, at least you can work towards building a business that can access such facilities in the future. If you have a growing business or even a business idea and can put together a sound business plan, the bank encourages you to apply. We also got the sense that the bank is available to support applications and provide the right advice as necessary.

Access Bank CBN Creative Fund forum The Assembly
Access Bank CBN Creative Fund forum The Assembly

For further enquiries on how you can access the loan send an email to or

We hope you found this useful, let us know your thoughts on this creative fund below.

Words by George Ekwuribe
Images by Adeoye Onisemo