Africa’s largest retail bank, Access Bank Plc., yesterday collaborated with the Lagos
State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) to launch the LSETF W Initiative aimed at
economically empowering women in Lagos State.
The initiative, which has a total loan portfolio of N10billion, is targeted at women-owned
businesses (with at least 50% ownership share) in operation for 1-5 years.
While delivering his address, Access Bank Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe
said: “Access Bank is fully committed to bridging the existing gap and provide women
with the support they need to successfully implement their business ideas”.
“Looking at the number of women present here today, I don’t think the initial N4billion
we set aside to help women will be sufficient and based on that, the initiative fund will
be increased to N10billion. Through partnerships with organisations such as LSETF,
Access Bank will continue to help women break boundaries, reinvent the status-quo and
take advantage of opportunities provided by technology and quality financial systems to
make significant impact on the economy of Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole,” Wigwe
Delivering his keynote address, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu
expressed his delight at the timeliness of the initiative, including its immense
opportunities for residents in the state.
“The LSETF W Initiative has come at a very critical time for our economy, as we believe
that women have a great role to play towards achieving the developmental results that
we seek in our state,” said Sanwo-Olu.
“It is important to leverage on the accumulation of resources built through relationships,
trust, goodwill, and influence between the State and other private sector stakeholders to
make things happen quickly. We are very proud of Access Bank as they continue to
make available their financial and business expertise as well as their funds towards
ensuring that our women are given adequate access to resources that will aid their
successes,” he added.
Access Bank has a long history of supporting female empowerment, offering over 8,000
personal loans valued at over N10.6billion since 2018, with over 330 loans given to
women in business valued at over N16.6billion.