Many individuals and businesses have great ideas for new and expansionist business ideas, but they are often incapable of turning their ideas into realities. The major reason which often kill the dreams of Nigerian entrepreneurs is their inability to meet the often stringent requirements of obtaining a bank loan.

However, the fact remains that banks are in the business of making money or preserving their initial capital in the worst-case scenario. Hence, banks use those stringent loan requirements to ensure that they are not pouring money down the drain. Nonetheless, some Nigerian banks have awakened to the reality that some entrepreneurs have only a solid idea and the clothes on their backs; hence, they are willing to offer you loans without collateral.


First Bank of Nigeria has made plans to provide non-collateral loans for Small and Medium Enterprises as part of the bank’s initiative to power growth in the SME sub-sector. The loans are offered to SMEs in different sectors of the economy; hence, there are no favorites.

The non-collateral loans offered by First Bank do not require collateral. The only thing you need to do is to go through a psychometric test, pass the test and provide the bank with your business plan and financial projections.

Quoting Mr. Oluwafemi Akinfolarin, First Bank’s Head of SME Banking “Getting loans without collateral is part of our contribution towards boosting the growth of the SME segment.” Most SMEs don’t have collateral to secure loans. With this now, all a prospective borrower is asked to do is to go through a psychometric test. Once the SME passes it, we advance the loan. That is a cutting edge innovation.”

The great thing about First Bank’s unsecured loans is that it is designed to be easily accessible to entrepreneurs irrespective of the type or size of your business.


Diamond Bank Plc offers entrepreneurs an opportunity to obtain loans without securing the loan against collateral. The non-collateral loans are designed to stimulate growth for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

Diamond Bank has about 5 SME friendly accounts but if you want a loan without collaterals, you’ll most likely to looking at the bank’s SME loans. Diamond Bank’s SME loans can be accessed in the form of; Revolving Credit, Installment Loan, Local Purchase Order (LPO) Finance and Contract Finance.

According to Mr. Chima Nnadozie, Head, MSME Propositions, “presentation of a collateral security is no longer a bid deal for it to consider applications for, and grant loans to prospective and existing entrepreneurs in Nigeria’s micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) sector.”

However, you’ll need to open a corporate bank account with Diamond Bank before you can apply for its SME loans.


Stanbic IBTC Bank offers Nigerian entrepreneurs a great opportunity to obtain business loans without providing collateral. The loans are designed to help SMEs buy assets, but the asset only become yours when you make the last payment on the loan.

To apply for a non-collateral loan with Stanbic IBTC, you should be prepared to provide the bank with the following information:

  • The full names and capacities of those who will sign
  • CV of each member of the management team.
  • The reason why you need the finance.
  • Your business’ financial statements, including an income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
  • Personal statements of assets and liabilities of all the partners, members or directors.
  • A 12-month cash flow forecast.
  • The amount of your own contribution and the source of the funds.
  • If you do not have a business account with Stanbic IBTC Bank, you must provide the business’ bank statements for the past six months.

Bonus Points

Before you approach any of the listed banks for a non-collateral loan, it would be in your best interests to open, run and maintain an account (corporate preferred) for a period of 3 to 6 months. You should also be armed with a sound business plan and a solid repayment plan for the loan.