Union Bank on Thursday launched an innovative gender-focused product targeted at women business owners and managers hoping to use learning from its unique foray into the hugely untapped SME market to beat competition.
Called ‘Alpher woman’, the product is woven around inspiring themes like “Woman enough to live her best life”; “Woman enough to earn her place”; “Woman enough to lead businesses”; “Woman enough to captain her life”, and “Woman enough to break barriers”.
Studies show that women can be reliable borrowers of funds but most lending products appear to ignore them, leaving out a significant segment of society.
Speaking at the colourful event, Union Bank CEO Emeka Emuwa said Alpher was first introduced at last year’s International Women’s Day celebrations and in the months that have passed. The service has been tested and perfected.
“We believe that Nigeria and indeed the world would be a better place if enough was done to clear the barriers women face,” Emuwa said.
Union Bank is today a major player in the SME space because it took the decision to venture long before the Central Bank’s recent push to get banks to lend more to the economy.
Speaking to BusinessDay in Davos, Emuwa said the path the bank chose to expand lending to small business has been “an interesting learning process”.
The bank says “Alpher was created to enable women to be the best versions of themselves”.
“We aim to help women on their respective journeys of greatness whether your aim is to start or expand your business, meet new people, build new partnerships or develop capacity for growth; αlpher is here to enable your success,” Union Bank said in a brief on its website.
Last night’s launch featured a number of successful female business owners who told the story of their foray into business management.