Access Bank Plc and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have empowered 100 female entrepreneurs across Africa who graduated from the bank’s ‘W’ Womenpreneur pitch-a-ton Africa initiative.
The initiative, which is the third installment saw participants go through a mini Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programme by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and the top 5 finalist were given a grant of $22,000
This year’s program had over 37,000 applications which was later pruned down to 100 participants span across Africa where Access Bank’s ‘W’ Initiative has its presence. The countries are Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Gambia, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Speaking on at womenpreneur pitchaton grand finale in Lagos recently, the Group Managing Director Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said: “Access Bank is offering support for these female owned businesses to help them get back on their feet through access to finance at friendly rates, mentoring sessions and consulting support.
Access Bank recognised long ago the economic power ofencouraging and supporting women generally as well as female entrepreneurs because we believe women deserve quality education, the same rights as men, equal access to financial services, and equal decision-making power at the managerial level.
“This program is designed to provide quality training as well as financial and business skills to female entrepreneurs in Africa, through an IFC-certified mini-MBA.”
In her remarks, Chairman, Access Bank Plc, Dere Awosika, said the fact that the bank has not allowed the happenings globally to stop it from being able to develop and celebrate entrepreneurship in womanhood, is a great step forward for them in Access Bank.
“For us in Access bank, Women are indeed very special; Women contribute a great deal to our going forward and to the expansion of the business in banking.So we thank God and we salute all those that are making such efforts to develop and bring up more women climbing up the ladder and identifying talents.
“Over the years, we see that such talents become great entrepreneurs, not just in Nigeria but beyond. Great works they have been doing, unimaginable things they have done to put not just Nigeria on the spot but Africa,” Awosika said.
On his part, Principal Investment Officer, IFC, Mr. Musonda Chipalo said: “So, women entrepreneurs are a dominant force for sustained and equitable economic growth. when women entrepreneurs are supported with loans and new skills, they can turn their ideas into businesses that generate economic benefits for their families.So, for us, as I say this is a success story and we’re very honored to have partnered with Access bank.”