Nigeria’s foremost money deposit bank, Access Bank Plc has hooked up a partnership with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, to provide an N2 billion funding package to support women entrepreneurs and other female customers of the bank to improve their businesses.
The partnership, is being executed through the “LSETF ‘W’ Initiative”. The package offers collateral-free loans to women for as low as N250,000 at 10 per cent annual interest rate, and targets businesses with not less than 50 per cent women ownership.
Speaking at the virtual press conference to announce the project, Ayona Aguele-Trimmel, Group Head, W Initiative, Access Bank, said that after some years of supporting women entrepreneurs through the W Initiative, the bank had discovered critical knowledge gap among women entrepreneurs, which the partnership with LSETF is seeking to bridge through capacity building.
Under the initiative, Access Bank and LSEFT will provide N1 billion matching fund each to kick-start the project.
Speaking further, Ayona said, “We found that startups like one year old companies find difficult to come up with documentations required for getting funding. The second thing we found out in the last six years of running W Initiative that micro and small businesses were not able to access the funding.
In the same vein, Teju Abisoye, Executive Secretary, LSETF, said: “Our partnership with Access Bank aligns with our core mandate of supporting micro, small and medium enterprises through access to affordable financing and other services that can help them increase productivity and employ more people.”