Women make up over 49% of Nigeria’s 186 million population. There women young or old face many challenges especially in terms of their financial independence.
Recently, I had a conversation with a collegue who insisted that if you are a woman and you are not earning, over N100,000, you still have to depend on a man to meet your basic needs.
Whether a woman is an entrepreneur or a career woman, she still has to deal with the issues of her financial independence. African women are often raised to believe that making financial decisions is the sole responsibility of a man.
Although women are known to be great savers, there is still the question of how to properly save your money and making the right investment. Accessing loans and financial services that is tailored towards the unique needs of a woman is not easy.
This is the reason why banks who have women community and banking initiatives tailored towards women should be commended.
Here are three Nigerian banks with banking initiatives tailored towards women.
Access Bank “The “W” Initiative”
The is “w” initiative is a one-stop center of all of Access Bank’s women empowerment offerings. These include capacity building programs exclusive to women, mentoring programmes, and maternal health services, all aimed at helping to build a bigger, stronger and more sustainable society. Participating women have access to financial services.
I also checked to ensure that the bank is actively managing the community. They have an upcoming event in Kano for female entrepreneurs to teach them business skills at an affordable price.
There is also a female banking team under the “W” initiative. According to the bank’s website, since the pioneering of the Gender Empowerment Program (GEM) in 2006, the bank has provided N2.5billion access to finance, supported the growth of female-owned businesses through capacity building and networking platforms for new and potential female business owners.
Diamond Bank’s “Diamond Woman”
Diamond Woman provides women with financial, business and lifestyle advice. The Diamond woman website has a financial literacy, business clinix, business support services, financial archives category. These category carried financial and legal advise for women. There are also videos of leading women and events hosted by the Diamond Woman initiative. They arlso have a work tips category for career women.
There was a business breakfast event in March. They also have certain discounts for women who are part of the community.
Now having a content platform for women is definitly not the same as actually providing business opportunities and tangible banking benefits tailored towards women. However, the bank is making a great effort to accomodate her female customers.
First Bank “First Gem”
The First Bank First Gem account is designed to meet womens needs. With the First Gem account, women can access low-cost loans for businesses, secure funding for investment. The account comes in savings and current account variant.
The First Gem community is described as a place where 100s of like-minded women gather to connect, grow and share knowledge on everything life, motherhood, career development, entrepreneurship, health, work and family.
The also features a blog which covers money matters, style, career, entrepreneurship.