Access Bank Plc and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have empowered 50 women across Africa who graduated from the bank’s ‘W’ Womenpreneur pitch-a-ton Africa initiative.
The participants were put through a mini Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programme by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
The programme, in its second edition, had over 40,000 applications which was later pruned down to 50 participants, who took part in the free mini Masters in Business Administration (MBA) certification programme.
The Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton Africa 2020 campaign was designed to provide female owned businesses across Africa an opportunity to access to finance and world-class business training as well as mentoring opportunities.
This programme has been designed to create an enabling environment for female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
Also, this year’s programme was extended to six other African countries where Access Bank’s W Initiative has its presence. These countries are Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Gambia.
Speaking at the virtual event, Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank, Mr Victor Etuokwu, said: “We created the W Initiative to drive the course of women and the Womenpreneur-pitch-a- ton Africa is a brainchild of the W Initiative. I need to stress here that we saw great qualities in all the 50 participants in this year’s programme and I want to say that they are rare women. We are happy to assist them and we are very sure that they will impact the business world positively.”
Group Head, Women Banking at Access Bank, Ms. Ayona Aguele-Trimnell, added that the bank took the campaign to other countries in Africa where the bank has presence like Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Rwanda, Gambia and Sierra Leone to ensure that many women in the continent take part in it.
She said: “We are here to help women of Africa take their businesses to the next level. All the 50 final participants are winners as what they have learnt through the IFC mini MBA classes will assist them in running their businesses and we hope that they will be able to expand their businesses to bigger ones in the next one year.”
The highlight of the virtual event was the selection of five outstanding female entrepreneurs from the 50 participants in this year’s programme. They won prizes ranging from N500,000 to N5 million as the total prize won stood at N9.250 million.
The winners were Rusgal Tradings which emerged as the best performer during the programme won N5 million; Babet Agro Enterprise was second and won N2 million, Readland came third with N1 million, The NICNAX Company which came fourth won N750,000 while ECOBBA Africa won N500,000.