Access Bank

Ranking as one of Africa’s 20 largest banks, Access Bank Plc serves more than 6 million customers across 7 African countries.

About Access Bank

Access Bank was founded in 1988 and, with an asset base of over US$11 billion, ranks as one of Africa’s 20 largest banks. Access serves more than 6 million customers from almost 400 branches in Nigeria’s major commercial centers, as well as 6 other African countries, China and the United Kingdom. Access Bank targets a variety of segments with its divisions in retail, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), commercial banking, and corporate and investment banking. In 2011, the bank received the Financial Times/International Finance Corporation (IFC) Sustainable Bank of the Year Award for the Africa and Middle East region.

The Program

In 2006, the bank partnered with the IFC to develop targeted products for female entrepreneurs, becoming one of the first African banks to to provide dedicated credit lines to finance women-owned businesses. Through its Gender Empowerment Program Group, Access also provided training in business and management; free financial advisory services; and assistance in the preparation of business plans, accounts and other relevant documents.

In 2014, the bank announced its “W” Initiative, designed to inspire, connect and empower women in Nigeria. Benefits to women include access to a range of loan products and credit facilities, education on finance matters through the online “W” community, and health and family programs, among a number of other services. The “W” Initiative also offers special support to women-owned SMEs, including mentoring services, capacity building and promotion of start-ups. The “W” Initiative has since been rolled out to Access Bank’s outlets in Ghana and Rwanda.

Members Button

WOMEN AT
ACCESS BANK

Women make up 32
percent of the bank’s
customer base.

More than 40 percent
of its loan portfolio is
in the hands of women.

Women represent 41
percent of the bank’s
staff.

Board members are
more than 32 percent
female.

Access Bank logo

The Opportunity - Nigeria

  • 41%

    of early-stage entrepreneurial activity in Nigeria involved women as of 2013, GEM found.
  • 44%

    of women in Nigeria got a loan in 2014, according to Findex data.
  • 4%

    of the loans Nigerian women got in 2014 were from a financial institution, according to Findex.
  • 31%

    of Nigerian women saved to start, operate or expand a business in 2014, Findex found.