Access Bank unveils 2nd financial grants for female SMEs

Access Bank Plc has unveiled the second edition of its Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton programme. This programme offers female entrepreneurs in Africa access to business trainings, mentoring opportunities as well as finance. The Group Head W Initiative of 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, the programme would provide up to N9 million financial grants 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 noted that 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 for the women economy, particularly in the areas of capacity building and creating network 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 she added.

She further added that, ‘this year, Access bank want to do more 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 five hundred candidates selected from this pool will then send in a sixty seconds video pitch which will be screened by a credible panel of business experts to select fifty finalists. “As part of the graduation requirements, the fifty finalists will pitch their businesses, infusing learning’s from the mini-MBA and will stand an opportunity to win financial grants up to N5 million,” she added. 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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