Access Bank continues push to reach women in business is being backed up by a relentless effort at promoting and deepening its relationship with female entrepreneurs in the country.
A strengthening of this relationship, the bank said in a statement made available to business a.m., has seen it open a window through the W Power Loan, a discounted financing scheme introduced in July 2018, to bridge the financing gaps for women-in-business.
The bank said primarily focused on eight key business sectors, female entrepreneurs who need financing for business expansion, working capital or purchase of equipment can apply for the loan to a tune of N100 million at an annual interest rate of 15 percent.
It added that it was in a bid to promote best practice and support women entrepreneurs globally to drive change, economic expansion, and advance communities around Africa, that the bank, through the W Initiative, has further deepened its relationship with female entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
“This is evident in the resultant benefits and testimonials from capacity building sessions and trainings from the W Academy, access to market as well as access to finance from the discounted financing product; The W Power loan for women-in-business,” it said.
According to the World Bank, the rate of women’s entrepreneurship in Africa is high – higher than in any other region.
According to the bank, it was based on this discovery that the W Initiative, in 2018, facilitated several Womenpreneur Business Workshops in conjunction with the Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University to facilitate better understanding of entrepreneurship, improve business skills and consolidate learning.
Besides, the W Academy partnered with subject matter experts to facilitate scores of networking and capacity building sessions that have given women an opportunity to be inspired, connected and empowered, it further said.
Speaking on the purpose of Access Bank’s involvement in women entrepreneurship, Ada Udechukwu, head, women banking, Access Bank, said, “We are aware that SMEs in Africa are estimated to account for over 90% of all firms outside of the agricultural sector in the region.
“We also understand that women’s formal ownership of SMEs currently stands at around a-third of all registered SMEs in Africa, and women-owned SMEs are more likely to have lower sales and annual turnover, less employees, and smaller size than those enterprises owned by men.
“It is on this note that that Access Bank contributes to the development of SMEs in Nigeria and beyond.”
It is believed that Access Bank’s commitment to empower female entrepreneurs will continue to contribute immensely to the growth of SMEs in Nigeria with its resultant economic benefits on a global scale.