Nigeria’s top financial lender, Access Bank, has pledged to fund entrepreneurs and create market access for small businesses by putting them in the right community.
Speaking during a conversation with customers in the micro-, small- and medium-scale category, Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu, said the bank remained resolute in its drive to engage and empower MSMEs by providing access to funds, markets and knowledge, noting that these objectives were at the heart of the business engagement sessions in key cities across the nation.
He said apart from providing funding for MSMEs, the bank also enhanced their capacities and create networking opportunities for them.
“The North remains a strategic business environment for the bank and that is why we have organized this engagement session to provide an opportunity to meet one on one with our SME customers in Abuja, provide them with a platform to ask questions, get answers and solutions that help them take their businesses to the next level. We are committed to being a bank that gives more to our customers and that includes more listening and more engagement and this forum allows us meet up to that promise,” Etuokwu said.
He further said Access Bank was the only bank with a department focused on women in Nigeria and across Africa, stressing that the bank believed women were a glue that held the society together.
He said the bank also worked with both genders to elevate their economic statuses.
He noted that the bank viewed MSMEs as critical segments of the Nigerian economy as they contributed more than half to the Gross Domestic Product and created over 60 per cent of the jobs.
“We want to elevate Abuja because we believe there is so much more to be done here,” he said, noting that MSMEs were the reason for positive things happening in the Nigerian economy.
“We intend to be more present and relevant in the lives of our customers than ever, and we want to ensure business owners have easy access to funds to sustain and expand their businesses. We are committed to providing excellent services both online and offline to meet the varied needs of all our customers and create impact in the lives of both individual and MSME customers alike,” Etuokwu added.
The engagement session is one of the benefits for customers that are under the Diamond Business Advantage proposition from Access bank which has been designed to add value to Micro, Small and Medium-scale business owners so that they can grow their businesses with smart banking. The proposition provides SME’s market linkages, increased referral base and networks that enable them scale the hurdles of accessing new markets for their products.
Networking sessions such as Business Clubs, Business clinics, and Business seminars enable MSME customers to expand their referral base through interacting with other MSMEs.
Access Bank is the leading retail bank in Nigeria with over 600 branches and more than 40 million customers. The Bank offers products and services tailored to suit the lifestyle of every Nigerian irrespective of age and demographic.