November 7, 2012, Boston, MA/Lagos, Nigeria – The Lagos State Enterprise (LEAD) Awards has selected Accion Microfinance Bank Limited (MfB) as Nigeria’s “Best Microfinance Bank of the Year” for the second consecutive year. The selection, by an industry research group for the LEAD awards, was based on Accion MfB’s ‘excellent performance and deep understanding of microlending in the microfinance sector.’
The award ceremony took place on October 26t in Lagos; other nominees for the category included AB Microfinance Bank and Gapbridge Microfinance Bank.
Launched in May 2006, Accion MfB’s mission is to empower microentrepreneurs and low-income earners in a sustainable, ethical and profitable manner, offering clients microloans and savings products. The bank currently serves over 90,000 clients with 14,070 loans outstanding valued at more than NGN 1.7 billion. Despite a challenging operating environment for microfinance in Nigeria, the bank reported in July of this year that its 2011 financial results grew in virtually all indices. The bank’s pre-tax profit grew by 103 percent year-on-year, from NGN 103 million ($ 657k) in 2010 to NGN 306 million ($1.95m) in 2011.
Accion MfB’s shareholders include Accion Investments; Citigroup; Ecobank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); SME Managers Limited; and Zenith Bank.
“We are thrilled to receive this honor,” said Bunmi Lawson, managing director and CEO of Accion Microfinance Bank Ltd. “It is an incredible accomplishment for Accion to receive such prestigious recognition for our work to economically empower low income Nigerians.”
Accion is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of building a financially inclusive world by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. A world pioneer in microfinance, Accion was founded as a community development organization in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. Over time, Accion has helped to build 63 microfinance institutions in 31 countries on four continents that are currently reaching millions of clients. In the United States, the U.S. Accion Network is the largest microfinance lending network in the country and has served tens of thousands of clients, with over $300 million in loans. For more information, visit www.accion.org.