How to Start a Microfinance Bank Business in Nigeria

by Demi

Looking for a guide on How to Start a Microfinance Bank Business in Nigeria with a business plan to boot alongside?(Check below for the plan)

How to Start a Microfinance Bank Business in Nigeria

Starting a microfinance bank business in Nigeria involves several steps and requirements. Here is a general guide to help you get started:

Understand the regulatory framework: Familiarize yourself with the regulations governing microfinance banks in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the regulatory authority responsible for licensing and overseeing microfinance banks. Study the CBN’s guidelines and requirements for establishing a microfinance bank.

  1. Develop a business plan: Create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your objectives, target market, products and services, marketing strategy, organizational structure, financial projections, and risk management framework. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your microfinance bank.
  2. Incorporate your business: Register your microfinance bank as a limited liability company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Choose a suitable business name and gather the necessary documents, such as the memorandum and articles of association, incorporation forms, and identification documents.
  3. Meet capital requirements: Microfinance banks in Nigeria are required to meet minimum capital requirements set by the CBN. Ensure that you have the necessary capital and financial resources to meet these requirements. The specific capital requirements may vary based on the category of microfinance bank you intend to establish.
  4. Prepare documentation: Prepare all the necessary documentation required by the CBN for the licensing process. This may include the application form, business plan, financial projections, KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements, fit and proper test for directors, and any other supporting documents.
  5. Obtain necessary approvals and licenses: Submit your application to the CBN for review and approval. The CBN will conduct due diligence on your application, including assessing your business plan, financial strength, governance structure, and compliance with regulatory guidelines. If approved, you will receive a license to operate as a microfinance bank in Nigeria.
  6. Establish governance and risk management systems: Set up robust governance structures and risk management systems in line with regulatory requirements. This includes appointing qualified directors and executives, implementing internal control measures, and establishing policies and procedures for operations, credit management, and customer protection.
  7. Build infrastructure and IT systems: Set up your physical infrastructure, including offices and branch networks, and invest in reliable information technology systems to support your operations and facilitate efficient service delivery.
  8. Recruit and train staff: Hire qualified and experienced staff with expertise in microfinance operations, credit analysis, customer service, and compliance. Develop a comprehensive training program to equip your staff with the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill their roles effectively.
  9. Market your services and launch operations: Develop a marketing strategy to promote your microfinance bank and attract clients. Establish relationships with potential customers, community organizations, and business associations. Launch your operations and start providing financial services to your target market.

It is important to note that starting a microfinance bank is a complex and highly regulated endeavor. Seeking professional advice from legal, financial, and regulatory experts with experience in the microfinance sector can greatly assist you throughout the process.


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued comprehensive guidelines and regulations for microfinance banks in Nigeria. Here are some key guidelines that microfinance banks are required to adhere to:

  1. Licensing: Microfinance banks must obtain a license from the CBN to operate in Nigeria. The guidelines specify the licensing requirements, including minimum capital requirements, shareholder composition, and fit and proper criteria for directors and key management staff.
  2. Corporate Governance: Microfinance banks are required to have a sound governance structure and establish board committees, such as Audit, Risk Management, and Credit Committees. The guidelines outline the responsibilities and qualifications of board members and require the establishment of an effective risk management framework.
  3. Capital Requirements: The CBN has set minimum capital requirements for microfinance banks based on their categories. These requirements determine the amount of paid-up capital, minimum shareholders’ fund, and minimum capital adequacy ratio that microfinance banks must maintain.
  4. Operations and Management: The guidelines provide details on the permissible activities of microfinance banks, including providing financial services to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and low-income individuals. The guidelines also specify operational requirements related to loan disbursement, savings mobilization, customer service, and disclosure of financial information.
  5. Risk Management: Microfinance banks are required to have a comprehensive risk management framework that addresses credit risk, operational risk, liquidity risk, and other potential risks. The guidelines outline risk assessment, monitoring, and reporting requirements to ensure effective risk management.
  6. Prudential Regulations: The CBN has established prudential regulations for microfinance banks, including guidelines on loan classification and provisioning, income recognition, liquidity management, and reporting requirements. Microfinance banks are expected to comply with these regulations to maintain financial stability and soundness.
  7. Consumer Protection: Microfinance banks are required to protect the interests of their customers and ensure fair treatment. The guidelines emphasize transparency in pricing, disclosure of terms and conditions, and handling of customer complaints. Microfinance banks are also required to provide financial education and promote financial literacy among their customers.
  8. Reporting and Supervision: Microfinance banks are subject to regular reporting and supervision by the CBN. They are required to submit periodic financial reports, operational reports, and compliance reports to the CBN. The guidelines also outline the CBN’s supervisory powers and the consequences of non-compliance.

These are just a few key guidelines outlined by the CBN for microfinance banks in Nigeria. Microfinance banks are expected to comply with these guidelines to ensure a safe and sound financial system and promote financial inclusion in the country. It is important for microfinance banks to stay updated with any amendments or additional guidelines issued by the CBN from time to time.


  1. LAPO Microfinance Bank
  2. Accion Microfinance Bank
  3. Fidelity Bank Plc (through its subsidiary Fidelity MFB)
  4. AB Microfinance Bank Nigeria
  5. Grooming Centre
  6. Addosser Microfinance Bank
  7. LAPO Microfinance Bank
  8. Mainstreet Microfinance Bank
  9. LAPO Microfinance Bank
  10. Hasal Microfinance Bank

Please note that the order does not indicate any ranking and the inclusion of these microfinance banks is based on their prominence and reputation in the microfinance industry in Nigeria. It’s always advisable to conduct thorough research, review their services, performance, and customer feedback before making any decisions or assessments.

How To Download The Microfinance Bank Business Plan Template

Above is a part of the Microfinance bank business plan template in Nigeria. If you want the complete business plan with the full financial plan, calculations, and more, follow the procedures to download it. 

Pay the sum of N8000 (Eight thousand naira only)  to the account detail below:
Bank: GTBank
Name: Oyewole Abidemi (I am putting my name and not our company account so you know we are real people and you can trust us)
Ac/No: 0238933625
Type: Saving

Thereafter, send us your email address through text message to +234 701 754 2853The text must contain the title of the business plan you want and also your email address. Immediately after the confirmation of your payment, we will send the microfinance bank business plan template in Nigeria to your email address where you can easily download it.

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