Access Bank Plc and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund have launched an initiative that will enable women entrepreneurs in the state to access a N10bn loan facility.
The LSETF W Initiative, which is aimed at empowering women economically in the state, is targeted at women-owned businesses (with at least 50 per cent ownership share) in operation for one to five years.
The Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, while delivering his address at the launch on Wednesday, said, “Access Bank is fully committed to bridging the existing gap and providing women with the support they need to successfully implement their business ideas.
“Looking at the number of women present here today, I don’t think the initial N4bn we set aside to help women will be sufficient and based on that, the initiative fund will be increased to N10bn.”
Wigwe said through partnerships with organisations such as LSETF, the bank would continue to help women break boundaries, reinvent the status quo and take advantage of opportunities provided by technology and quality financial systems to make significant impact on the economy of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
According to him, the bank has a long history of supporting female empowerment, offering over 8,000 personal loans valued at over N10.6bn since 2018, with over 330 loans given to women in business valued at over N16.6bn.
Delivering his keynote address, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, expressed his delight at the timeliness of the initiative, and the immense opportunities it would provide for residents in the state.
Sanwo-Olu said, “The LSETF W Initiative has come at a very critical time for our economy, as we believe that women have a great role to play towards achieving the developmental results that we seek in our state.
“It is important to leverage the accumulation of resources built through relationships, trust, goodwill, and influence between the state and other private sector stakeholders to make things happen quickly. We are very proud of Access Bank as they continue to make available their financial and business expertise as well as their funds towards ensuring that our women are given adequate access to resources that will aid their successes.”