Winners emerge at Pitch-a-ton, as Access Bank sets aside K1 billion to support emerging businesses


A pool of K1 billion has been set aside under Access Bank’s Distributor Credit Programme (DCP) to enable emerging businesses access financing.

The DCP, is a financing programme aimed at providing affordable finance to distributors within the value chain of the Bank’s large Corporates across various sectors.

Under the programme, distributors of anchor clients such as Zambia Sugar Plc, Chilanga Cement, Dangote Cement, Coca Cola Zambia, and Zambian Breweries, among others, would access financing to pay for stock from the Bank’s anchor clients.

Access Bank Chief Risk Officer, Hamish Chipungu, said this on Wednesday evening following the Bank’s handover of K80,000 prize money to winners in the Xtreme Ideas Zambia X Pitch-a-ton, a pitch competition.

Chipungu said various Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) pitched their business in a bid to emerge winners of the prize money.

“We understand that every business is like a seed filled with potential and just as every gardener attend to their plants and nurtures the seed into a towering tree or plant, we do not just offer financial support,” he said.

He said they believed in providing opportunities to businesses of all sizes, equipping them with knowledge, resources, and connections that turn brilliant ideas into thriving legacies.

Chipungu noted that despite SMEs being the backbone of growing economies, Zambia included, they continue to face various challenges such as limited access to capital, limited market knowledge, and inadequate resources which often hinder their success.

“We acknowledge these challenges and seek to address them through our Emerging Businesses proposition under the Retail Banking unit. The proposition supports SMEs through tailored financial solutions designed to meet their needs,” he said.

Read More: The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has approved the Acquisition and Merger between Access Bank Zambia Limited and Atlas Mara Zambia.

Chipungu added that the Bank’s commitment to supporting SMEs goes beyond the provision of financial assistance but focused on fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship hence the establishment of partnerships with various incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurship programmes.

At the X Pitch-a ton, Wild Grass Enterprise, a software company who showcased their solution aimed at helping SMEs manage inventory, invoicing, and cash flows, emerged overall winner and walked away with K50,000.

Eskulu, a pocket e-learning service leveraging on technology to deliver a complete package to ease the study process for learners in examination classes walked away with K30,000 as the most promising business based on special recognition for its social responsibility driven business model.

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