Olumide Olatunji, MD of Access Bank Ghana
As part of its promise to continuously provide financial and business skills to female entrepreneurs, Africa’s largest retail bank, Access Bank, has unveiled the second edition of its “Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton” campaign.
The “Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton” Africa 2020 Campaign is designed to provide female owned businesses across Africa an opportunity to access finance and world-class business trainings as well as mentoring opportunities. This programme has been designed to create an enabling environment for female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
Commenting in the initiative, the Managing Director for Access Bank Ghana, Olumide Olatunji noted that “as a leading commercial bank in Africa, 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 entrepreneurs through innovative offerings such as the W Power Loan, a concessionary loan financing for women to grow their business as well as other Business Support Services.”
He 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 Nigeria as part of our value proposition as the No. 1 Bank of Choice for women in Africa and we received a tremendous amount of applications with innovative business ideas. This year, we have decided to extend this innovative business idea contest to female entrepreneurs here in Ghana and beyond”, he added.
Being the first women-in-business support initiative of its kind, the Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton 2020 will be open to business women in other Access Bank subsidiaries including Rwanda, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Gambia and DR Congo.
Speaking during the launch, the Group Head for ‘W’ Initiative at Access Bank Plc., Ayona Trimnell revealed that the Pitch-a-ton will provide over USD 20,000 in financial grant to winners as well as a unique capacity building programme in collaboration with the IFC, to empower women entrepreneurs.
Access Bank has continuously used various strategies to engage its customers to boost their business viability, particularly during this period of COVID-19 pandemic including the “W Webinar Series” which tackles various topics of business continuity, redesigning business model for resilience among others.
About the Womenpreneur “Pitch-a-ton” Africa 2020
The Womenpreneur “Pitch-a-ton” Africa 2020 programme is designed as a 3-month period incorporating pitching sessions and 8 weeks of mini-MBA training. Interested persons across the continent who meet the criteria are required to fill an online application. The five hundred candidates selected from this pool will then send in a sixty seconds video pitch which will be screened by a credible panel of business experts to select fifty finalists.
As part of the graduation requirements, fifty finalists will pitch their businesses, infusing learnings from the mini-MBA and will stand an opportunity to win financial grants of more than USD 20,000.