Access Bank to Give 700,000 MSMEs Access to N50bn Via YouThrive

March 4, 2024
Access Bank YouThrive

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An initiative known as YouThrive designed to give entrepreneurs in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access to a N50 billion credit facility has been introduced by Access Bank Plc.

The lender disclosed at a media briefing in Lagos that about 700,000 MSMEs would benefit from this programme, which is open to business owners between the ages of 21 and 40 years.

YouThrive is a transformative initiative designed by Access Bank to empower, uplift, and accelerate the next generation of MSMEs.

According to the Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr Victor Etuokwu, who addressed journalists at the event, “In the next four years, we will empower 4 million youth, one million per year.”

He disclosed that the scheme “would not just be about lending, we are building various capacity-building activities for them, and the curriculum will be centred around technology, creatives, business management and skill acquisition.”

Mr Etuokwu also revealed that the MSMEs that would benefit from the programme would undergo training to enable them to optimally make use of the loan, which would be given at a “discounted interest rate.”

Reiterating Victor’s comments at the Inaugural Job Creation and MSMEs Quarterly Communications Forum, hosted by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, Mr Temitola Adekunle-Johnson, held recently in Abuja, the Head of Emerging Businesses at Access Bank, Ms Chioma Ogwo, said, “We have a business exchange program for the beneficiaries that would enable the SMEs to go and exchange ideas with their counterparts in other countries.

“Every year, 700,000 would be given access to financing, and 300,000 would be trained. After that, we will take the best advice from the best and return to Nigeria to implement it.”

“There is also going to be employment opportunities as 1000 outstanding individuals who receive the training by the bank and its holding companies will be recruited within the tech space, the Access corporation ecosystem and other partner companies,” Ms Ogwo added.

Speaking on this initiative, Mr Adekunle-Johnson, said that the initiative by Access Bank would help address the issue of access to affordable loans by small businesses.

“Our aim is to ensure single-digit loans become the norm for MSMEs,” adding that disbursements will be made after the loan assessment is processed. This initiative will help reduce the bottlenecks often faced by MSMEs in securing funding for their businesses.”

He commended the bank for using its funds and giving out the loan at a discounted rate and urged small businesses to take advantage of the opportunity and grow their businesses, noting that the government is working towards creating 100,000 jobs by May 29 and 384,000 jobs in four years.

The President’s aide urged other financial institutions to come up with programmes to support the SME sector.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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