Under the Access Bank flagship women empowerment programme, the ‘W’ Initiative, women entrepreneurs are set to begin an industry first Female Leadership Programme in partnership with FMO, the Dutch Development Bank.
The maiden edition of this one-week leadership journey will bring together female leaders in finance from across the world to work alongside customers and staff of Access Bank in order to drive impact in gender finance.
Facilitated by one of FMO’s collaborators, the company Better Future, the leadership journey will deeply engage with local female entrepreneurs to gain an understanding of their needs and challenges while supporting the development of Access Bank Ghana’s gender finance platform and business proposition. This will simultaneously help to develop female leaders’ capabilities and build a global peership network of women committed to catalysing gender finance and supporting one another.
The programme will employ a combination of personal engagement with the entrepreneurs, group leadership workshops, one-on-one executive coaching and hands-on cross-organisational strategic project team work that leads to a constructive “pitch” session in which they will receive critical feedback from relevant stakeholders.
Speaking on the support to Access Bank, the Manager Financial Institutions of FMO, Chantal Korteweg said, “We are committed to advancing female leadership and gender equality. With our partner Access Bank, we are proud to be part of this ground-breaking leadership journey. It will help us to better support our clients in empowering women entrepreneurs.”
The Head of Exclusive Banking at Access Bank, Mrs. Matilda Asante-Asiedu added that the Bank has had a long relationship with FMO and the leadership journey programme will further urge the Bank to fulfil the value proposition of the ‘W’ Initiative.
She added, “We are honoured to be the first choice Bank of FMO in this innovative programme and speaks of the good relationship we have built over the years. Through this programme we are giving our female customers the rear opportunity to receive insight into building sustainable businesses that are also competitive globally”.
Access Bank begun its relationship with FMO in 2014 through a USD 40 million credit facility in conjunction with PROPARCO to support its lending activities to the private sector in the Ghanaian economy.
FMO is the Dutch development bank. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs. FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development, and has a 45-year proven track record of empowering people to employ their skills and improve their quality of life. FMO focuses on three sectors that have high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food & water. With a committed portfolio of EUR 9.8 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector developments banks globally. The Access Bank ‘W’ Initiative seeks to inspire, connect and empower women by offering a bundle of tailor made products, services and opportunities to women, ranging from young professionals, women with family and women in business.
Last year, Access Bank’s ‘W’ was recognised as the Most Outstanding Banking Initiative at the 3rd Women in Business and Finance awards. The Bank also launched the Maternal Health Support Scheme (MHSS) to offer women a financial lifeline in accessing various fertility treatments at specialist hospitals in Ghana and around the world.