ZAMBIAN Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can now access affordable financing under the Bank’s Distributor Credit Programme (DCP), a financing programme where a pool of K1billion has been set aside for emerging businesses.
The DCP, is aimed at providing affordable finance to distributors within the value chain of the Bank’s large Corporates across various sectors. Under the programme, distributors of anchor clients such as Zambia Sugar Plc, Chilanga Cement, Dangote Cement, Coca Cola Zambia, and Zambian Breweries among others will access financing to pay for stock from the Bank’s anchor clients.
Speaking recently at the Bank’s handover of K80,000 prize money to winners in the Xtreme Ideas Zambia X Pitch-a-ton, a pitch competition in which various MSMEs pitched their business in a bid to emerge winners of the prize money, Access Bank Chief Risk Officer Hamish Chipungu said Access Bank does not just offer financial support, but partnerships which extends beyond numbers on a balance sheet.
“For this reason, when Xtreme Ideas Limited approached us to be a part of the X Pitch-a-ton, we immediately came on board, fuelled by our passion for growing SMEs,” Mr. Chipungu said.
He said Access Bank believes in providing opportunities to businesses of all sizes, equipping them with knowledge, resources, and connections that turn brilliant ideas into thriving legacies. Mr Chipungu noted that despite SMEs being the backbone of growing economies, Zambia included, they continue to face various challenges such as limited to access to capital, limited market knowledge, and inadequate resources which often hinder their success.
“As Access Bank, we acknowledge these challenges and seek to address them through our Emerging Businesses proposition under the Retail Banking unit. The proposition supports SMEs through tailored financial solutions designed to meet their needs,” Mr. Chipungu said.
Access Bank Zambia’s Bank’s commitment to supporting SMEs goes beyond the provision of financial assistance but focusses on fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship hence the establishment of partnerships with various incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurship programmes.
Access Bank’s commitment is further evidenced in the recent launch of the first ever Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton in Zambia under the W Initiative, the Bank’s Women Banking where female business owners are in the running for a cash prize of K75,000 in addition to various non-financial prizes such as Insurance, Marketing, Business, and legal advisory services as well as personal branding and marketing support , all of which are essential for business to thrive in their areas of speciality.
At the X Pitch-a ton, Wild Grass Enterprise , a software company who showcased their solution aimed at helping SMEs manage inventory, invoicing, and cash flows, emerged overall winner and walked away with ZMW 50,000. Eskulu, a pocket e-learning service leveraging on technology to deliver a complete package to ease the study process for learners in examination classes walked away with ZMW K30,000 as the most promising business based on special recognition for its social responsibility driven business model. Both cash prizes were sponsored by Access Bank Zambia Ltd.