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Co-funded by the European Union

Institutional gender mainstreaming and strengthening of gender-lens investing activities in Nigeria




Access to Finance, Development Finance Institutions, Small and Medium Enterprises and Start-Ups, Women's Economic Empowerment






Gender inequality in Nigeria is less than optimal. As the Bank of Industry (BoI) Nigeria is the largest DFI in Nigeria, increasing BoI’s effectiveness in serving WSMEs will significantly improve equality. Out of a population of about 213 million, approximately 50% are women and 40% of women are entrepreneurs, one of the highest rates in the world. Collateral is a major challenge for Nigerian WSMEs, constraining their ability to access finance. Historically women did not have the right to own property. Whilst this is changing, a disproportionate amount is unable to present collateral required to access funds.  


The ICR Facility is providing tailor-made technical assistance to BoI Nigeria to strengthen its internal gender operations and client-facing gender-lens investing activities, ultimately to better serve women-led MSMEs with improved access to finance.

This intervention comprises the following areas of support: 

  1. Institutional gender mainstreaming: BoI will capture its current institutional progress with regards to gender, including both internal aspects, for example HR, and client-facing measures, including all core business lines. BoI will identify approaches for gender mainstreaming for each business line, as well as to enhance the gender equality policy and action plan and have a revised gender policy. 
  2. Amending the M&E framework to become gender responsive: Capturing, reporting and evaluating impactful data is a vital step in being able to better tailor services to reach more women as clients. BoI will transform its current M&E framework to better incorporate crucial data, set key performance indicators and redesign standard operating procedures. 
  3. Identifying external/ international funding opportunities: To support BoI in providing suitable funding to WSMEs.

Expected Results

Upon completion of this intervention, BoI will have:

  • Amended the existing M&E framework to become gender-responsive 
  • Equipped staff members with capacity building on the revised M&E system 
  • Developed an impact assessment tool 
  • Better overview of international funding opportunities to serve WSMEs 
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