BY EMEKA EJERE

Checks by Business Hallmark have revealed that Zenith Bank Plc is providing a huge succour to female entrepreneurs through the Z-Woman business package, one of its latest products focused on empowering female business owners

Z-Woman account holders are enjoying loans of up to N10 million at a single digit interest rate, free digital skills training, free exhibition stands at Zenith Bank events and many other benefits which are helping them grow their businesses, while increasing their sales.

Imagine getting access to the money or skill you need to move your business to the next level.  The Zenith Bank’s Z-Woman Business package is designed to address the unique needs of women-owned businesses, hence the features of loans of up to N10 million at a single-digit interest rate, free digital skills training and free exhibition stands at Zenith Bank events

The Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive of Zenith Bank, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, had during the launch in February noted that Z-Woman offers women the opportunity to enjoy a partnership with the Zenith Bank brand as the name Z-woman implies.

“The Z-Woman account is designed to address the unique needs of women-owned businesses and offer them unmatched services that empower them to do more and achieve more”, Onyeagwu had stated.

The package

In the package’s document, Zenith Bank stated “Z-Woman is a single digit loan product for female owned businesses for all sectors primarily geared toward growing our SME sub-sector and diversifying our customer base.”

With a rate of 9 percent and management fee of 1 percent per annum and a maximum loan amount of N10 million for a duration of 12 to 24 months, the convenience of the package cannot be overemphasized.

It has a monthly or quarterly repayment in the customer’s cash flow from sales or collections into account with Zenith Bank. What it means is that each month or quarter, customers would pay part of the loan plus interest on reducing balance basis.

With focus to support entrepreneurs in the beauty/style, confectionery, fitness, agriculture and others sectors, the purpose of the loan is for business expansion – working capital requirements, purchase of raw materials as well as raw materials and infrastructure upgrade.

The facility is, however, not open to every woman who has a business. Only female entrepreneurs with shareholding of 55% and above are qualified to apply to Zenith Bank for this loan.

As a security measure, since it is a collateral-free loan, the rule demands that customers should be willing to accept Biometric Verification Number (BVN) covenant with Zenith Bank. Also, the beneficiaries must be willing to give personal guarantee on the loans, along with credit insurance policy.

Zenith Bank has been deeply involved in supporting businesses owned and run by women entrepreneurs through its robust financing packages for small and medium enterprises across different sectors of the economy.

A classic example of the bank’s commitment to changing the narrative of women MSMEs is the annual sponsorship of its small businesses clinic, “STYLE BY ZENITH 2.0”, following the success of the maiden edition of that signature product.

Using it extensive network of branches within and outside the country, Zenith Bank has in the last three decades emerged as a preferred financial services provider for the Nigerian business community wishing to be different from the rest of the crowd.

Zenith Bank Plc is recognized as one of the most innovative financial institutions in Nigeria. It was voted the most customer-focused bank in Nigeria for the Retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS).

Most recently, the bank won the Best Bank in Retail Banking and the Bank of the Year at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and was ranked as the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co.

The bank’s commitment to world-class service standards has led to several product innovations over the last couple of months including the “Zenith Timeless Account”, which allows Nigerians aged 55 years and above bank for free, the “Zenith Save4me”, a high interest target savings account and “Dubai Visa Service” on the Zenith Internet Banking Platform, which allows convenient application and payment for visas to Dubai.