The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) W-Initiative, in partnership with Access Bank Plc, is disbursing affordable finance to female-owned businesses in Lagos State.
Both Lagos and Access Bank have contributed two billion naira to make up the fund, with each contributing a billion naira.
Speaking to the press on the scheme, executive secretary of LSETF, Teju Abisoye, commended the efforts of Access Bank’s W Initiative for collaborating with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) on this laudable funding scheme.
She said the LSETF was set up in 2016 to address issues of unemployment in Lagos State. It does this strategically by providing affordable financing to MSMEs in the state to increase their productivity and expand in such a way that they can employ more people. With the LSETF-W Initiative loan, she said, women entrepreneur will not only be able to tackle financing gaps for female businesses but also make it affordable for them to thrive in the state.
The head, W Initiative, Access Bank, Ayona Trimnell, said that “The W initiative is home to over 10 million female customers in Nigeria and probably the largest portfolio for female customers as well as female entrepreneurs.
“Since 2016, when we launched the W initiative, it was basically for it to be a non-stop shop for women entrepreneurs and so what we have tried to do over the last six years is ensure that we actually serve three different categories of women. We have women professionals, women in business and women at home.”
She noted that, “Many individuals especially women have encountered challenges in doing business which includes limited access to funding. This funding challenge has deepened with the pressure of the pandemic situation on the economy. Our response to this plight is to make available the LSETF- W Initiative loan which is rightly positioned to tick all the boxes for our female entrepreneurs. The LSETF-W Initiative loan is highly competitive at 10 per cent per annum, requires no collateral (fixed property), and can be repaid over a period of 24 months.”
Also, Group head Emerging Business, Access Bank, Ayodele Olojede, said that “There is so much more Access Bank is offering MSMEs which include business support services, digital payment solutions among others.
“We understand the nitty gritty of doing business which goes beyond just having capital hence, many businesses require proper structure, online presence, mentors, access to market and networking opportunities to survive in the first five years of business operations. Access Bank desires to take the pressure off the entrepreneurs in so many ways to enable them grow and succeed in their desired business path.”