Access Bank Zambia Limited has unveiled an initiative designed to empower female entrepreneurs operating in the country.
The bank’s Womenpreneur Pitch-A-Ton competition would provide 25 finalists an opportunity to undergo a seven-week mini MBA whilst vying for the three top prizes in cash of a K75,000 K50,000 and K25,000, respectively.
Bank’s Managing Director, Lishala Situmbeko, at the launch of the initiative in Lusaka on Tuesday explained that eligible female entrepreneurs must have an existing business of at least one year with and aged between 18 and 55.
“It is one thing to own a business and another to manage and grow the business to its full potential.
“We recognise that running a business includes aspects beyond finance and as such, have partnered with various organisations to support the initiative,” Situmbeko said.
This would be supported by the bank’s Women’s Banking proposition called the Women Initiative (W initiative) aimed at accelerating women’s financial inclusion.
“In our response to addressing the various challenges faced by women and supplementing government efforts, the W Initiative through capacity building programmes arms women with the knowledge and skills set required for them to position themselves for various business opportunities,” Situmbeko said.
On how the competition would be handled, Situmbeko stated that She-Entrepreneur, a non-profit organisation supporting female entrepreneurs would be on hand to shortlist the first 500 applicants from a projected 1000 applications.
He said the mini-MBA programme would be delivered by We-fi Zambia, specialists in addressing challenges that undermined prospects of sustainable business growth for women.
“We also recognise that there are risks associated with running small business and have partnered with Insurance companies to engage applicants on cover for various risks as and when they occur.
“We note that many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) lack appropriate protection in the unlikely event that something does happen to their businesses. Our Insurance partners will support winners with insight on the various insurance options available to them,” he said.
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