Access Bank Plc has announced a 50 million euro facility partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), for funding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria and women-led businesses.
The announcement was made at the signing of a memorandum of understanding to deploy the long-term financing support last Thursday by Roosevelt Ogbonna, Group Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc.
According to Access Bank, the financial support is designed to boost the inclusion of young people and women in Nigeria. Also to contribute to the progress made towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal number 5, which targets gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls.
Speaking on Access Bank’s longstanding partnership with the EIB and commitment to sustainable finance, Roosevelt Ogbonna said, “Our collaboration with the European Investment Bank underscores our unwavering commitment to fostering job growth, promoting gender equality and championing sustainable business practices across all our countries of operation.
“At Access Bank, we believe in the potential of women as drivers of economic growth and this partnership reinforces our dedication to that cause. By providing critical financial resources to female entrepreneurs and managers, we aim to not only expand businesses but also uplift livelihoods and drive economic development in Nigeria,” he said.
“As we work towards achieving the national and global development goals, this credit facility exemplifies the shared vision of Access Bank and EIB for a more inclusive and prosperous continent. We look forward to the positive impact this partnership will have on the lives of Nigerian women and the broader economy,’ he further said.
The bank stated that the funds will be mobilised by it to finance eligible investments made by SMEs and mid-caps in sectors such as transport, agriculture value-chain, manufacturing, tourism, and services. It will also be targeting businesses owned, run, employing, or primarily serving women, by the ‘2X Challenge’ initiative, whose criteria are aligned with the OECD gender objectives.
In remarks, Abiodun Olubitan, Group Head, Women Banking, Access Bank Plc said “Since inception, the goal of the “W” Initiative has been to inspire, connect, and empower women with sustainable tools to access true financial inclusion and growth.
“This is why we are excited about the potential of this agreement with the EIB, as it is a powerful instrument to support women in realising their dreams and aspirations. By providing increased access to funding, we are fostering economic growth and strengthening the foundation of gender equality in Nigeria.”