Access Bank Plc and the International Finance Corporation have empowered 100 female entrepreneurs across Africa who graduated from the bank’s initiative, called ‘Womenpreneur pitch-a-ton Africa’.
The bank disclosed this in Lagos during an event to award 100 women with an IFC Mini-MBA, financial grants worth N9.75m to five women and other consolation prizes.
During the implementation of the initiative, which is the third instalment, participants went through a mini Masters in Business Administration programme by the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the top five finalists were given grants.
The bank said this year’s programme had over 37,000 applications, which were later trimmed to 100 participants 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 the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Speaking at a grand finale in Lagos, 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 of encouraging 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 programme is designed to provide quality training as well as financial and business skills to female entrepreneurs in Africa, through an IFC-certified mini-MBA.”
The Chairman, Access Bank, Dere Awosika, said the fact that the bank had not allowed the happenings globally to stop it from being able to develop and celebrate entrepreneurship in womanhood was a great step forward for the 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.”