Access Bank empowers female entrepreneurs across Africa with initiative

AS part of the Bank’s mandate to empower female entrepreneurs with financial and business skills, Access Bank Plc has unveiled the third edition of its Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Africa programme.

The Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Africa programme is designed to provide female owned businesses across Africa an opportunity to access finance, world-class business trainings as well as mentoring opportunities. This programme has been designed to create an enabling environment for female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Speaking at the launch of the third edition of the initiative, Ayona Trimnell, Group Head W Initiative, said, “Access Bank has been a leading advocate for women’s economic empowerment in Africa and this is the key motivation for the ‘W’ Initiative which caters to the women economy particularly in the areas of financing, capacity building and creating networking opportunities for women”. She further stated that “we launched the first Womenpreneur pitch-a-ton initiative in 2019 in line with our value proposition to be the No. 1 Bank of Choice for women in Nigeria, and we have received over 100,000 applications over the last 2 years.

In 2020, despite the pandemic, we were able to expand the programme to other female entrepreneurs across 7 African countries with 3 winners emerging from Sierra Leone, Ghana and Zambia out of 50 finalists. This year we are making the programme bigger and better by increasing the numbers to 100 women entrepreneurs who will emerge as finalists. The programme will also be opening up to a total of 9 African countries – Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and the Gambia”.

The 2021 Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Africa programme will officially kick off on Monday, June 21st – August 13th, 2021 and will offer financial grants, an exclusive certified capacity building program and business coaching aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs. Interested female entrepreneurs who meet the criteria of “having an existing business for at least  one  year with at least 50% female ownership and between the age range of 18-45 years are eligible and required to fill an online application on www.womenpreneur.ng

All online applications will be reviewed and screened by independent business experts to five hundred (500) candidates who will be required to send in a sixty-second video pitch for the opportunity to be selected as part of the final top 100 candidates who will benefit from an exclusive and certified Mini-MBA and grant prizes.

The programme is designed as a 3-month period comprising 12 weeks of mini-MBA training in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and pitching sessions to a Pan-African Jury panel where the top one hundred (100) finalists will pitch their businesses, infusing learnings from the mini-MBA and will stand an opportunity to win financial grants and other consolation prizes.”

As a leading commercial bank in Nigeria, Access Bank has made significant investments aimed at enhancing growth in the Small and Medium-size Enterprise sector. The Bank is also a major advocate for women in business through innovative offerings like the W Power Loan, a discounted financing at 15% interest per annum, for women to grow their business as well as other Business Support Services.

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