Access Bank unveils financial grants for female SMEs

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Access Bank

ACCESS Bank Plc has unveiled the second edition of its Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton programme that offers female entrepreneurs in Africa access to finance, business trainings and mentoring opportunities.

Group Head W Initiative, Access Bank, Ayona Trimnell, at the launch of the initiative on Tuesday in Lagos, said it was designed to create an enabling environment for female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Trimnell said that the programme would provide up to N9 million financial grant and capacity building aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs.

According to her, the programme is designed for three months, incorporating pitching sessions and eight weeks of mini-MBA training in collaboration with the IFC.

She said: “Access Bank has been a leading advocate for women’s economic empowerment in Nigeria and this is the key motivation for the ‘W’ Initiative, which caters to the women economy, particularly in the areas of capacity building and creating networking opportunities for women.

“We launched the Pitch-a-ton initiative last year in line with our value proposition as the No.1 Bank of Choice for women in Nigeria, and we got a tremendous amount of applications with innovative business ideas.

“This year, we want to do more and we want to reach out to more female entrepreneurs, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.”

Trimnell said that the programme would give opportunity to female entrepreneurs in Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia as well as Sierra Leone, Gambia, and Congo to apply and participate in this year’s edition.

According to her, interested persons who meet the criteria are required to fill an online application.

“The 500 candidates selected from this pool will then send in a 60 seconds video pitch which will be screened by a credible panel of business experts to select 50 finalists.

“As part of the graduation requirements, the 50 finalists will pitch their businesses, infusing learnings from the mini-MBA and will stand an opportunity to win financial grants up to N5 million,” she said.

Trimnell noted that the Pitch-a-ton was an expansion of the Womenpreneur Business Workshop, under the bank’s women proposition, the W Initiative. (NAN)

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