First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has congratulated a Nigeria-based high-impact social enterprise, Babban Gona, for winning the Schwab Award for Social Entrepreneurship at the World Economic Forum annual meeting held recently in Davos, Switzerland.
The Schwab Award is a social innovation award that recognises individuals and organisations that have contributed exceptionally to society by solving complex problems and showing that change is possible.
In a statement released in Lagos, FCMB said it is proud to be associated with Babban Gona and pleased to be part of its journey. While congratulating the social enterprise and affirming continued support for its programmes, the bank stated that winning the prestigious Schwab Award for Social Entrepreneurship is a testament to its impact on people’s lives around Nigeria.
Babban Gona is an award-winning and high-impact agri-tech social enterprise that focuses on making farming more financially and environmentally sustainable. Babban Gona is supported by First City Monument Bank, KfW, FMO, EDFI, IFAD, Mastercard Foundation, DFID, USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rippleworks, Skoll Foundation, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, among others.
Babban Gona co-founders, Kola Masha and Lola Masha are social entrepreneurs that have set out to disrupt the downward spiral of poverty and violence in parts of Northern Nigeria by creating opportunities for dignified and fulfilling work for the very demographic at the risk of being led astray, the rural youth. To address this challenge, Babban Gona, which means “Great Farm” in Hausa, was birthed in 2012 to make farming more profitable for rural youths, turning them into successful entrepreneurs. Thus, Babban Gona stimulates local economies at scale, disrupting the cycle of poverty and violence in some of Nigeria’s most vulnerable communities.
Babban Gona started its Agricultural Franchise Model with just 100 farmers and has grown 1,000x to supporting 100,000 farmers in 10 years. This has been accomplished using its proprietary technology platforms to help farmers increase yields in an environmentally sustainable manner, empowering them to break the cycle of poverty and violence in their rural communities. So far, Babban Gona has cumulatively supported over 280,000 smallholders and created over 600,000 jobs nationwide.
FCMB supports the initiative by providing credit to support the delivery of products and services to Babban Gona members; this includes training, agricultural inputs, harvesting and marketing support, which increased smallholder productivity and profitability by two times the national average. It is one of the Bank’s most significant commitments to developing agribusiness in Nigeria.
First City Monument Bank is a member of FCMB Group Plc, a purpose-beyond-profit corporation led by Ladi Balogun. The bank is committed to fostering inclusive and sustainable growth in the communities it serves. The bank does this by building a supportive ecosystem rooted in Africa that connects people, capital, and markets.