By Providence Emmanuel
The Lagos State EmploymentTrust Fund, LSETF, has opened its loan application window to small businesses and startups operating in the state, in line with its mandate of providing access to financial and institutional support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs.

A cross section of beneficiaries out of the 135 women presented cheques in the first batch of the Hon. Wale Raji Women Empowerment Scheme in partnership with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)

In a statement, the Fund advised applicants intending to secure loan up to N500,000 to apply under the LSETF Loan Programme which commenced on September 3, 2018.

The loan window which comes at five percent interest rate, will close on September 30, 2018.

Executive Secretary, LSETF, Mr. Akintunde Oyebode, said that the process is entirely free and open to all small business operators who are residents of Lagos State, irrespective of their tribe, gender, religion or political affiliation.

Oyebode stated: “This loan application window is a follow up to our existing loan programme in which we disbursed about N6 billion to 7,000 beneficiaries. ‘‘The month-long application window is now possible following the process optimization we carried out as a result of the huge backlog we had to deal with having recorded an overwhelming response to the open and rolling application process we had running before.

“Going forward, the LSETF applications would be accessible at periodic windows as we have it now. I want all the qualified small businesses to apply as soon as possible before the close of the application window.

“I am very proud that the process for obtaining these loans has been transparent, merit-based, free and fair. This is a testament to the integrity of the LSETF team, who have demonstrated exemplary adherence to our core values and their unwavering commitment to help small businesses expand and create jobs.

“I am pleased to note that the existing beneficiaries have been able to put more than 24,000 people to work within the last two years,” he said.

To apply, applicants are to obtain application forms at the LSETF liaison offices across the 20 local government offices in Lagos State and submit completed application forms at the same location or apply online via the LSETF website from September 10, 2018.

Meanwhile, proof of residency registration with the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), tax identification, training certificate (for Start-ups), passport photographs and details of guarantors, are expected to be attached alongside application forms.

In addition, existing micro enterprises are expected to show proof of sales evidenced by sales records or bank statements for six months.

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