Access Bank, Firm Support Digitalisation of Women Businesses
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
Nigerian multinational commercial bank, Access Bank Plc, through the W Initiative, has partnered with SME.NG, an organization in Lagos for women, to provide a one-stop-shop solution for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
The W initiative by Access bank is a brand dedicated to inspiring, connecting, and empowering women in all categories, which include capacity building programs exclusive to women, mentoring programmes, and maternal health services, all aimed at helping to build a bigger, stronger and more sustainable society.
The partnership of the bank with SME.NG saw the launch of Ebi Marketplace, in a bid to promote the bank operation in providing female entrepreneurs with an opportunity to access easy finance, wider market, technical as well as business support to be of fundamental importance.
The Ebi Marketplace is an online platform that will be Nigeria’s first all women’s e-marketplace with a fusion of financial services, trading opportunities, access to advisory services, mentorship, networking and so much more.
Speaking on the bank’s interest to support female-owned businesses, the Executive Director of Retail Banking Division, Mr Victor Etuokwu, noted that women SMEs face major challenges in the areas of funding, business networks, technical know-how and business management amongst others.
Mr Etuokwu added that it is vital to support the digitization of women-owned businesses in Nigeria by providing them with economic opportunities, business sustainability, and improving resilience to the negative effects of the economic downturn which would reduce the bottlenecks faced in running their businesses.
Also according to him, Access Bank, through the W Initiative, is set to onboard 1,500 female entrepreneurs on the Ebi Marketplace platform to ensure viability and resilience to economic shocks.
In her remarks, the Managing Director of SME.NG, Ms Thelma Ekiyor, commended the bank, also stating that Access Bank’s commitment to women through the W initiative makes the bank the ideal partner for the Ebi Marketplace
Access Bank’s commitment to empowering female entrepreneurs is set to continue contributing immensely to the growth of SMEs in Nigeria and further impact the social and economic growth of the country.