In its sustained commitment to supporting women, Nigeria’s leading innovative bank, Wema Bank Plc., has launched a special gender discount loan offering to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).
The Divisional Head, Retail Business, Wema Bank Plc. Dotun Ifebogun launched the unique gender loan offering at a webinar themed ‘Challenge Today for an Equal Tomorrow’ held on Friday, March 12, to mark the IWD.
Highlighting the significance of the offer, Ifebogun said it was more than a loan, as it also involves in-depth training.
“With this package, women can now access business loans at a single-digit interest rate. They have insurance cover for the business and themselves. A particular business owner will also have the opportunity of five days of business training at Wema Bank SME Business Training School,” Ifebogun said.
He affirmed that Wema Bank would continue to support women to confront challenges and promote gender inclusion through thoughtful initiatives such as the new loan package, health schemes, business advisory, financial education among others.
“This year, we have challenged the lack of access to finances for women, with an emphasis on cheaper loan and financial literacy for women through focused training. With this offer, we are going beyond just giving funds and raising finance; we extended it to training and expanding the knowledge base of these women to be sure that the people we give this loan can build on it and grow,” Ifebogun said.
The Executive Director, Business Support, Wema Bank, Folake Sanu opened the webinar which addressed women on challenging societal norms to reach their potential in entrepreneurship, and in the workplace. Team Lead, Business Process Re-Engineering, Wema Bank, Chika Adun moderated the webinar.
Among the panellists at the webinar were Founder, Green Investment Club and certified financial education instructor Tomie Balogun; Global Leadership Development expert Dupe Akinsiun, and Chief Knowledge Officer, Wofin Tech Limited, Omilola Oshikoya.
Reiterating the importance of building capacity and confidence, Akinsiun said women needed to be clear on expectations and standards they set for themselves.
In her words, “Avoid cultural limitations and mindsets, acknowledge your weaknesses and leverage your strengths through the help of others against all odds to rise. People struggle because they believe they do not have weaknesses. This breeds internal conflict and makes you feel uncomfortable and see yourself as fake.”
Tomie Balogun dwelt on the significance of training, development, and financial literacy regardless of the unstable interest rate and rising inflation. “Money is just a tool. The way you use it is what makes the difference. When you create wealth, you need to have an abundance mindset and not a scarcity mindset,” she said.
Balogun added, “Take ownership of your personal finance. It is not something you can outsource. You must get financial education to understand how you spend, how you budget, how you save, how to plan and invest. You must think about saving and not spend on frivolities. Prepare, build and develop your competence. That is how to aspire. Being perceived as difficult as a boss is not a function of gender but about workplace dynamics.
Also speaking, Omilola Oshikoya buttressed the importance of financial inclusion, investment opportunities in new areas, acknowledging one’s self-worth and challenging oneself to go for more.
“About 40 per cent of Nigerians are financially excluded. Managing a home with four children is a skill set. Package it into online curricula, teach and make money,” Oshikoya said.
She further noted that there are many investment opportunities and advised women to take the ones that best soothes them.
The webinar was part of a week-long engagement with Wema Bank’s customers to mark International Women’s Day by ‘Sara by Wema’, a special social initiative to deepen financial inclusion and empowerment for women.