The Executive Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Victor Etuokwu said this while speaking at a forum organised by the United Nations Global Impact, in conjunction with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and Network Nigeria in Lagos.
Etuokwu noted that there a lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs in the continent. He however pointed out that the barriers to entrepreneurship in Africa are mostly access to finance “which hasn’t changed because of the structure of the society and the structure of the Nigerian system.”
He added: “Apart from that, there is the issue of lack of knowledge of the market place and that is still a problem. Of course, the environment has it effects and also we have the effects of policy inconsistency.
“We found out that those who write the policies don’t have an idea of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.”
The bank chief said Access Bank had gone into collaboration with reputable global multilateral institutions to ensure that the right support is given to entrepreneurs.
But, he noted that “providing finance is not the major issue, the major policy is to understand what it takes to succeed as an SME. So, we have alliances together.
“We are working with International Finance Corporation (IFC) on training, book keeping, and management.”
Also, as part of the bank’s support for female entrepreneurs, he said the bank had unveiled a special all-purpose product targeted at young professional women in business across the country.
The product, called “Access W”, according to him came into being as a result of the neglect women in business have suffered in terms of accessing funds for their businesses. – Thisday.