Access Bank Drives Women Entrepreneurship with Pitch-a-ton

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A leading financial institution, Access Bank, has unveiled the second edition of its Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton programme, an innovation aimed at providing and creating an enabling environment for female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Tagged the Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Africa 2020 Campaign, this year’s event is designed to provide female-owned businesses across Africa an opportunity to access finance and world-class business training as well as mentoring opportunities.

Speaking at the launch of the second edition of the initiative, Mrs 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 explained 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 1 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, Mozambique, Gambia and Congo to apply and participate in this year’s edition of the programme,”she added.

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 eight weeks of mini-MBA training in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Interested persons from Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and Rwanda as well as with extension to Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Gambia and 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 seconds 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.

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 percent 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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