Access Bank Obtains €50m EIB Loan for Nigerian SMEs, Women

October 20, 2023
Access Bank stocks

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A €50 million credit facility to be used for funding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria and women-led businesses has been secured by Access Bank Plc from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Thursday on the deployment of long-term financing support also designed to boost the financial inclusion of young people and women in the country.

Business Post reports that the funds would be mobilised by Access Bank to finance eligible investments made by SMEs and mid-caps in sectors such as transport, agriculture value-chain, manufacturing, tourism, and services.

It would also be targeting businesses owned, run, employing, or primarily serving women, in accordance with the “2X Challenge” initiative, whose criteria are aligned with the OECD gender objectives.

The ultimate goal of the credit facility from the European Union (EU) is to contribute to the progress made towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal number 5, which targets gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls.

“Our collaboration with the European Investment Bank underscores our unwavering commitment to fostering job growth, promoting gender equality, and championing sustainable business practices across all our countries of operation.

“At Access Bank, we believe in the potential of women as drivers of economic growth, and this partnership reinforces our dedication to that cause.

“By providing critical financial resources to female entrepreneurs and managers, we aim to not only expand businesses but also uplift livelihoods and drive economic development in Nigeria,” the Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, said.

Also commenting, the Group Head of Women Banking at Access Bank, Ms Abiodun Olubitan, said, “Since inception, the goal of the W Initiative has been to inspire, connect, and empower women with sustainable tools to access true financial inclusion and growth. This is why we are excited about the potential of this agreement with the EIB, as it is a powerful instrument to support women in realising their dreams and aspirations.

“By providing increased access to funding, we are fostering economic growth and strengthening the foundation of gender equality in Nigeria.”

Aduragbemi Omiyale

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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