Access Bank Launches “YouThrive” Initiative to Empower 700,000 MSMEs with N50 Billion Loan

Access Bank Launches “YouThrive” Initiative to Empower 700,000 MSMEs with N50 Billion Loan

Access Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank by customer base, has introduced the “YouThrive” initiative aimed at empowering 700,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country through an N50 billion loan facility.

Victor Etuokwu, Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank, made this announcement during a recent press briefing at the bank’s head office in Lagos. Etuokwu emphasized that beneficiaries of the program would receive training to effectively utilize the loan.

He stated, “Access Bank is committed to financially empowering over 700,000 youth MSMEs by setting aside N50 billion for lending to them at a significantly discounted interest rate. To qualify for this loan, applicants must be between 21 to 40 years old.”

Etuokwu described “YouThrive” as a transformative initiative designed to uplift the next generation of MSMEs, with plans to empower 4 million youths over the next four years.

Chioma Ogwo, Head of Emerging Businesses at Access Bank, reiterated the bank’s commitment to empowering millions of individuals annually through capacity-building programs, business exchange initiatives, and access to financing.

Temitola Adekunle Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on job creation and MSMEs, commended Access Bank for addressing the challenge of access to affordable loans for small businesses. He emphasized the government’s goal of achieving single-digit interest rates for MSME loans and highlighted the importance of initiatives like “YouThrive” in achieving this objective.

Adekunle-Johnson disclosed that disbursements under the initiative will be processed after loan assessments, thereby reducing the funding challenges faced by MSMEs.

He urged small businesses to leverage this opportunity for growth and job creation, while also encouraging other financial institutions to develop similar programs to support the SME sector.

The “YouThrive” initiative is poised to make a significant impact on Nigeria’s MSME landscape, providing vital financial support and training to empower entrepreneurs and drive economic growth.