Access Bank PLC has expanded its Womenpreneur Pitch-A-Ton programme
to six African countries where the bank has its presence. These
countries are Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, Sierra-Leone, Gambia and
Congo. The Womenpreneur Pitch-A-Ton Africa is targeted at women above
the age of 18 years who have been in business for at least one year.
Access Bank’s Womenpreneur Initiative is intended to offer women
across various segments opportunities to new markets, access to
affordable finance, and capacity building programs.
Business News Reports revealed that the initiative was launched in
2019 as the first women-in-business support initiative of its kind in
the industry offered by the Access Bank W Initiative. The program in
its maiden edition provided financial grants worth N9Million to the
top 3 applicants with a free mini MBA certification for 50 women
entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
This it did in conjunction with the International Finance Corporation
(IFC, a member of the World Bank Group). This year, the bank is also
planning to provide up to N9 million financial grants and a unique
capacity building program aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs.
Speaking on the initiative, Group Head, W Initiative Access Bank,
Ayona Aguele-Trimnell, elucidates, “The Pitch-A-Ton is an expansion of
the Womenpreneur Business Workshop, under the Bank’s women
proposition. Having had a successful program last year, we are really
excited to take it a step further by extending this opportunity to
more women entrepreneurs trying to power the wellbeing and growth of
their societies. This time around, we will provide up to N9 million
financial grants and a unique capacity building program aimed at
empowering women entrepreneurs.”
According to the World Economic Forum, women are seen as the future of
Africa, being one of the largest contributors to economic growth and
having the highest entrepreneurship rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Interestingly their contributions are not fully maximized as there are
vast potentials not harnessed due to barriers such as finance,
manpower, skill set, technology and more.
The Head, Women Banking, Ada Udechukwu, x-rayed the mechanics for
participation in her words, “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.” The Pitch-A-Ton is designed as a
3-month virtual Programme incorporating pitching sessions and an
8-weeks intensive mini-MBA online training and business coach in
collaboration with the IFC. Also, as part of the graduation
requirements, the fifty finalists will pitch their businesses,
infusing learnings from the mini-MBA and will stand an opportunity to
win financial grants up to N5 million