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Female-owned businesses hold key to growth, stability of economy — Herbert Wigwe

•As Access, Diamond Bank hold Women’s Day conference

In the wake of their ongoing merger, Access and Diamond banks commemorated the International Women’s Day by hosting female entrepreneurs to a conference recently in Lagos.

CEO, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe

The event themed: Think W… Build Smart and Innovate featured insightful sessions, as the speakers highlighted issues and solutions on how women can effectively leverage on technology and finance to build profitable and innovative businesses.

In his keynote speech, CEO/ Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe said women, over the years, have continued to break boundaries, reinvent the status-quo and take advantage of the opportunities provided by technology and quality financial systems to make things better in the society. He added that the International Women’s Day Conference has been designed this year to educate women on how best to leverage innovations because female-owned businesses also hold the key to the growth and stability of the economy.

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Wigwe said: “As a bank, we are in full support of a gender-balanced society, this is why, through our Access Bank W Initiative, we educate women through our capacity-building and mentorship programs to ensure that they build and sustain brands that are globally recognised. We also have funding opportunities that are tailor-made for women and their businesses.”

This was followed by a goodwill message from the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Laure Beaufils, as she advocated more support for female entrepreneurs and called for solidarity amongst women to facilitate gender parity.

“It is commendable to see corporate step up to bridge the divide by providing women with platforms and education to help build successful businesses. Globally, women need to serve as support systems for one another and adopt a ‘Pull-Her-Up’ mentality, as against pulling each other down. Only then can we achieve the balance that we seek,” she said.

The event also featured two panel sessions, as the speakers provided insights into how female entrepreneurs can access investment opportunities, and build smart businesses using technology, product, and service differentiation.

Other business leaders and personalities that participated in the panel sessions include Bonaventure Okhaimo, Chief Operating Officer, Development Bank of Nigeria, Titi Osuntoki, Executive Director, Business Banking, Access Bank Plc, Adebola Adefila, Chief Executive Officer, Banrut Rolls, Toyin Onigbanjo, Founder, August Secrets, Chukwuka Nonye, Founding Partner, Cuici Consulting and Director-General, Delta Economic Summit Group; Patricia Nzolatima, Chairwoman, Bizolly Holding, among others.

The networking event ended with a grand dinner followed by an after-party anchored by ace Nigerian Disc Jockey, DJ Spinall and performance by Falz the Bad Guy.

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