Access Bank Celebrates the Power of Nigerian Women

Monday 14th December 2015

ACCESS 2On December 10th, Access Bank hosted its second biannual conference on leadership and innovation in Lagos, Nigeria, featuring a star-studded speaker lineup that included some global household names, such as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Grameen Bank founder Mohammed Yunus and Infosys founder Narayan Murthy.

While the speakers shared a number of compelling insights and perspectives, there was no doubt that the highlight of the day was the announcement of the winners of Access Bank’s W Awards. The awards were announced earlier in 2015, and the bank received over 10,000 entries across four categories: W Entrepreneur of the Year, Seasoned Professional of the Year, Young Professional of the Year and the appropriately named Amazons Award – a special category designed to celebrate women who have most impacted societal growth and development in Nigeria.

The awards ceremony was followed by the launch of Access Bank’s “The Power Of 100,” a book that profiles and honors 100 women who have helped and are helping to build the powerful nation of Nigeria – and celebrates the millions of Nigerian women and girls who are doing the same on a daily basis.

Inez Murray opened the awards ceremony, noting the importance of awards such as these that “put the spotlight on women’s achievements, show us the light by giving us role models and ideas, and importantly help us build a collective understanding of where we need to go and how to get there.”

ACCESS 1The W Awards and The Power of 100 are part of Access Bank’s Women’s Market program entitled the W Initiative, which offers a set of bundled services (loans, savings, insurance, education, mentoring and networking) to women, segmented by age. Access Bank measures program success through several metrics, key among them growth in number of accounts held by women. In the 18 months since the program’s launch, Access has increased these by 300,000, representing an impressive 23 percent growth off a base of 1.3 million accounts that were held by women. Furthermore, Access Bank’s online platform, the W Community, has grown to more than 87,000 active members and counting.

Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank, noted in his remarks that “The W program is about inspiring, connecting and empowering women.” With this holistic approach in serving the Women’s Market, Access Bank is not only building a successful banking program but is also celebrating and inspiring women to shape the future of Nigeria.