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Banking on Women in Business - Case Study: Nigeria

Banking on Women in Business - Case Study: Nigeria

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Published by IFC Sustainability
Access Bank is Nigeria’s seventh largest bank and recognizes that female-owned businesses make up a significant proportion of bankable SMEs. To help tap this underserved market, IFC has provided Access Bank with a $30 million credit line for on-lending to women entrepreneurs, along with advisory services to support a successful roll-out of its women’s program. Working with IFC experts, Access Bank first examined the women’s market in Nigeria and elsewhere, while analyzing the bank’s own assumptions, processes and lending requirements to see what barriers women clients faced.
Access Bank is Nigeria’s seventh largest bank and recognizes that female-owned businesses make up a significant proportion of bankable SMEs. To help tap this underserved market, IFC has provided Access Bank with a $30 million credit line for on-lending to women entrepreneurs, along with advisory services to support a successful roll-out of its women’s program. Working with IFC experts, Access Bank first examined the women’s market in Nigeria and elsewhere, while analyzing the bank’s own assumptions, processes and lending requirements to see what barriers women clients faced.

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Published by: IFC Sustainability on Aug 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/27/2013

Creating Opportunities...\ue001or Women
Banking on Women in Business:
Acc\ue001\ue005\ue005 Bank, N\ue003g\ue001r\ue003a
ClieNt CAse study
January 2008
A Grow\ue003ng Oppor\ue006\ue007n\ue003\ue006\ue008

Women entrepreneurs represent a large potential
market \ue001or A\ue001rican banks. Financing them is good
\ue001or business\u2014and good \ue001or long-term sustainable
development. But most A\ue001rican banks will not cater
to women, unaware o\ue001 the speci\ue000c challenges they
\ue001ace as business owners.

tapp\ue003ng \ue006h\ue001 Mark\ue001\ue006 w\ue003\ue006h H\ue001\ue004p \ue002rom iFC

Access Bank is di\ue001\ue001erent. It is Nigeria\u2019s seventh
largest bank and recognizes that \ue001emale-owned
businesses make up a signi\ue000cant proportion o\ue001
bankable SMEs. To help tap this underserved
market, IFC has provided Access Bank with a $30
million credit line \ue001or on-lending to women entre-
preneurs, along with advisory services to support a
success\ue001ul roll-out o\ue001 its women\u2019s program.

Working with IFC experts, Access Bank \ue000rst exam-
ined the women\u2019s market in Nigeria and elsewhere,
while analyzing the bank\u2019s own assumptions,
processes and lending requirements to see what
barriers women clients \ue001aced. It discovered that
highly capable women and good businesses were
being locked out o\ue001 access to \ue000nance because o\ue001
traditional collateral requirements (such as land,

usually registered in men\u2019s names), lack o\ue001 credit
history and market in\ue001ormation, and a resulting
perception that lending to women could be riskier.

\u201cOur sense was that the business case existed. But
it was clear we would need to do things a little
di\ue001\ue001erently in order to reach this market and be
pro\ue000table,\u201d says Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank\u2019s
deputy managing director.

\u201cIFC is helping us look beyond the typical chal-
lenges \ue001aced by SMEs. We are working to explore
nontraditional collateral options, new product
development, and best practices \ue001rom the Global
Banking Alliance \ue001or Women. IFC is training our
sta\ue001\ue001 and\u2014critically\u2014they are training local
businesswomen in order to build their \ue000nancial
skills and give them con\ue000dence to apply \ue001or \ue001unds.\u201d

O\ue007\ue006com\ue001

Access Bank is changing the \ue000nancial landscape
\ue001or businesswomen in Nigeria and beyond. Since
partnering with IFC in June 2006:
\u2022 $16.56 million disbursed to 117 women entre-

preneurs (Oct 06 to Oct 07).
\u2022 1,000 new accounts opened.
\u201cSuccessfully reaching the women\u2019s market in Nigeria is key to achieving our retail and small business goals.\u201d
\u2014 A\ue003gboj\ue001 A\ue003g-imo\ue007kh\ue001\ue000\ue001, Manag\ue003ng d\ue003r\ue001c\ue006or, Acc\ue001\ue005\ue005 Bank

th\ue003\ue001rr\ue008 tanoh, iFC d\ue003r\ue001c\ue006or an\ue000 N\ue003g\ue001r\ue003an M\ue003n\ue003\ue005\ue006\ue001r o\ue002
Wom\ue001n\u2019\ue005 A\ue002\ue002a\ue003r\ue005 a\ue006 \ue006h\ue001 o\ue002fc\ue003a\ue004 \ue004a\ue007nch o\ue002 Acc\ue001\ue005\ue005 Bank\u2019\ue005
G\ue001n\ue000\ue001r Program.

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