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Wema Bank partners BOI to support women entrepreneurs in Lagos



L-R: Head, Inclusive Banking, Wema Bank Plc, Okwuchi Ugorji; Chief Personality Officer, Inventivo, Sade Odunaiya; Head, Sustainability, Wema Bank Plc, Abimbola Agbejule; Managing Director, Mona Matthews, Monalisa Abimbola Azeh and Deputy Manager, Gender Business, Bank of Industry (BoI), Jimoh Amdala, at the SARA by Wema Seminar on running a profitable business held in Lagos...on Thursday.

Wema Bank Plc, the pioneer of Nigerias first fully digital bank ALAT, has empowered over 100 women in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector. The business advisory seminar, tagged ‘Running A Profitable Business’ brought women entrepreneurs together from the bank’s Lagos Region.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Aramide Awosanya, Regional Manager, Lagos Mainland, Wema Bank, said the initiative was taken to complement the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which aims at MSME development in the country.

It would be recalled that the CBN launched the MSME Development Fund in 2013 with a share capital of N220 billion. The Fund was established in recognition of the significant contributions of the MSME sub-sector to the economy and the existing huge financing gap.
Awosanya said Wema Bank is working with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to assist women entrepreneur to maximize the enormous financial benefits available within the Sara by Wema community

According to her, Sara by Wema is a community that gives women the capacity to participate in, wholly contribute to and fully benefit from the growth opportunities available in Wema Bank. In her words, “it is fuelled by our conviction that women across all socio-economic backgrounds deserve as many opportunities as they can get to achieve financial independence and economic growth.”

She stated that the community is open to all Nigerian women who own startup enterprises as well as those that are low-income earners and stay-at-home entrepreneurs.

Mrs Sade Odunaiya, keynote speaker at the event and Certified Business Coach with ActionCoach, addressed participants on Growing Your Own Business. In her presentation, she noted that 80% of new enterprises fail within their first 5 years of operation, while another 80% of those who survived that period also fail within the next 5 years.
On the way forward, she advised participants to ensure they master their production systems, guide against misplaced priority, collate feedback from customers and also put in place procedural manuals for all team members.

Similarly, Mrs Jimoh Amdala, Deputy Manager, Gender Business, BOI, said her management partnered with Wema Bank with a view to enlightening women about the best way to package their applications for credit facilities from Wema Bank.
Speaking on How to Fund Your Business, Amdala disclosed that the BOI has identified the basic impediments working against entrepreneurs in applications for loans. She also stated that BOI does not give loans to businesses that would not be able to repay.

Her words: We give loans at a very minimal rate but must be convinced of your viability to pay back.

However, Amdala disclosed that when women approach the BOI for loans, their documentation, most of the time, is not complete. According to her, the management of BOI is always ready to give a helping hand to any application by women because the financial institution believes that any support given to a woman connotes support to a nation.

Meanwhile, Awosanya revealed that Wema Bank will take the Sara by Wema women empowerment initiative to other parts of Nigeria for the benefit of women entrepreneurs across the country. We shall take the initiative to Abuja before theend of the year and later to other parts of the country, she said.

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Awoof Berekete: Access Bank launches campaign to promote electronic services



Leading Nigerian retail bank, Access Bank Plc, has launched a campaign to promote its Access Mobile Wallet service.

Tagged Awoof Berekete, it is a savings reward scheme, which runs from August to November 2019.

During the period of the campaign, customers who use their Access Mobile Wallet to make transactions will be rewarded handsomely.

Customers can get 20% cash back up to N1,000.00 when they purchase airtime via Access Money Wallet as well as receive 10 times their initial deposit (up to N10,000) when they fund their Access Money Wallet and save for 7 days.

Head, Business Development and Planning at Access Bank, Chinedu Onuoha, said: “We are the largest bank in terms of customer base. Cumulatively, we have about 30 to 31million customers. By 2022, we intend that this should be a minimum of 65million customers and to achieve this, we came up with Awoof Berekete, which is another way to reward our customers.”

“Awoof berekete intends to encourage those whose accounts have been dormant or inactive due to various reasons – insufficient documentation, BVN etc. Customers will get 20% cash back up to N1,000.00 when they purchase airtime on their Access Money Wallet as well as receive 10 times their initial deposit (up to N10,000) when they fund their Access Money Wallet and save for 7 days.

Further, he stated that: “What we are essentially doing incentivizing them (customers) to be more productive.

Sometimes you pay N200 as transport fare to go and pay somebody N2,000. What we are saying is that you can stay in the comfort of your home and do that transfer; also that market woman on her way home can drop the vegetables for you. Those kinds of things can happen and help people promote efficiency and also make them live better lives.”

The Access Mobile Wallet is an electronic wallet service which allows users to save, transfer, and receive money. It provides access to a wide range of financial services offered by Access Bank and access to all the Bank’s branches and agents nationwide.

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FirstBank supports educational institutions with FirstEdu



FirstBank MD, Adeduntan

The premier and leading financial services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced its educational solution – FirstEdu – specifically designed to enhance the educational facilities in schools. The FirstEdu product includes FirstEdu loan and FirstEdu portal.

FirstEdu loan is targeted at private Nursery & Primary and Secondary schools to assist the schools in achieving their desired growth in the medium and long-term. The product provides funding to replace old furniture and equipment, pay staff salaries, purchase brand new or fairly-used buses as well as refurbish dilapidated buildings and classroom blocks. With this product, school owners/proprietors can stay ahead of competition at all times.

The product enables the schools to access facility with no tangible collateral, apart from domiciliation of school fees account with the Bank.

In addition, FirstEdu portal is a modular and robust web-based enterprise portal that enables Tertiary educational institutions manage academic, administrative, professional, logistics and payment challenges. The basis for its robustness is to take the stress of logistics, administrative and payment challenges off the institutions, as they focus on meeting their year-long, medium and long-term objectives.

The product features and benefits include; e-Learning, virtual library and facilitation of exchange programmes with foreign educational institutions; academic & student events/time-table/calendar management; school fees payment via the internet; online information and result checking; interactive community forum between students and teachers. It also affords applicants the opportunity of enrolling from the comfort of their homes or any location around the world; no licensing, installation and maintenance cost and plugs avenues for revenue leakages amongst others.

According to Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, “with FirstEdu, private schools across the various tiers of education in Nigeria; elementary, secondary and tertiary, have the right tool to boost their business to the level they desire. With over N5 billion loans already disbursed to schools this year alone, we are committed to supporting growth in this key sector of our economy.”’

For further information on FirstEdu, visit the FirstBank branch nearest to you or contact us on our social media channels.

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CBN okays AIP to 3 payment service banks



In line with its objective of enhancing financial inclusion and the development of the payment system by increasing access to deposit products and payments services through a secured technology-driven environment, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued Approvals-in-Principle (AIP) to three Payment Service Banks (PSBs).

The three institutions issued approvals in principle to operate as Payment Service Banks are Hope PSB, Money Master PSB and 9PSB.

This was disclosed in Abuja by the Director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, who explained that the approval in principle was part of the processes the institutions had to fulfil in order to be granted license to operate as fully-fledged Payment Service banks.

According to Okorafor, the decision of the CBN to issue the AIP to the applicants followed the institutions’ satisfaction of documentation and other laid down conditions.

Sequel to the issuance of the AIP to the three banks, he said they are expected to submit their respective applications for the grant of a final licence, not later than six months after the AIP.

Speaking further, he disclosed that the CBN code of corporate governance for banks would also be applicable to the PSBs.

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