By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The second edition of Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton programme organised by Access Bank Plc has been launched.
It is an initiative designed by the bank to continuously provide financial, business skills and mentoring to female entrepreneurs in Africa so as to grow their businesses.
According to the leading retail bank in Nigeria, the Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Africa 2020 will provide up to N9 million financial grant and a unique capacity building program aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs.
The programme is designed as a 3-month period incorporating pitching sessions and 8 weeks of mini-MBA training in collaboration with the IFC.
Interested persons from Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and Rwanda as well as with extension to Sierra Leone, Gambia, & Congo who meet the criteria are required to fill an online application.
The 500 candidates selected from this pool will then send in a 60-second video pitch which will be screened by a credible panel of business experts to select 50 finalists.
As part of the graduation requirements, the 50 finalists will pitch their businesses, infusing learnings from the mini-MBA and will stand an opportunity to win financial grants up to N5 million.
Speaking at the launch of the second edition of this initiative, Ayona Trimnell, Group Head W Initiative, said, “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 to the women economy particularly in the areas of capacity building and creating networking opportunities for women”.
She further stated that the Pitch-a-ton is an expansion of the Womenpreneur Business Workshop, under the bank’s women proposition, the W Initiative.
“We launched the Pitch-a-ton initiative last year in line with our value proposition as the number one bank of choice for women in Nigeria, and we got a tremendous amount of applications with innovative business ideas.
“This year, we want to do more and we want to reach out to more female entrepreneurs not just in Nigeria but across Africa.
“As a responsible financial institution with huge presence in other African countries, we want to give the same opportunity to other female entrepreneurs in Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia as well as Sierra Leone, Gambia, and Congo to apply and participate in this year’s edition of the programme,” she said.
As a leading commercial bank in Nigeria, Access Bank has made significant investments aimed at enhancing growth in the Small and Medium-size Enterprise sector.
The bank is also a major advocate for women in business through innovative offerings like the W Power Loan, a discounted financing at 15 per cent interest per annum, for women to grow their business as well as other business support services.
The Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton is the first women-in-business support initiative of its kind in the industry.
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