Unity Bank has collaborated with identified women groups in the North East and South/South regions as the Bank launches Yanga Account in Gombe and Uyo.
A statement from the Bank said the initiative and platforms being created with the Yanga Account is intended to drive financial inclusion and deepen its retail franchise especially among women in mass retail segment of the market.
“With the launch of Yanga Account, Unity Bank has created a customised banking service for the women MSMEs and the collaborative partnership with various women groups is a channel for the individual members of the groups to leverage the benefits of the Yanga Experience to drive the growth of their businesses”, the Bank stated.
Unity Bank officially launched the Yanga Account in Abuja recently where the veteran Nollywood actress was unveiled to the target market as Brand Ambassador to specifically promote women MSMEs and create a unique proposition for Yanga Account and the Brand in the market.
The Yanga Experience train stopped at the ancient city of Ibadan last week, where the Bank pledged to engage no fewer than 5 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operated by women in the South West region, even as Sola Sobowale, the Brand Ambassador, said no women will be left behind.
The partnership with women groups in Northeast and South-South and South-East Nigeria officially kicked off on Tuesday at activation events in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital and Gombe for the Northeast region, where veteran actress and the Bank’s brand ambassador, Sola Sobowale undertook market tours to interact with the women and gain first-hand knowledge of how the Yanga Experience is being received in the market.
Targeted at women-owned MSMEs across Nigeria, the Yanga Account is a complete suite of services designed to promote financial inclusion among women through stress-free savings and investment, access to the services of dedicated Sales Agents, Agency Banking services close to the location of their businesses, special business seminar and training on how to grow business, access to microloans, customized debit cards and other bundled e-banking products.
Speaking at the event in Gombe on Tuesday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun stated the “Yanga Account is most suitable for the needs of all the MSMEs operated by women in this region. We are optimistic that the carefully considered features will meet the needs of the target market,” noting that “the Yanga account is open to all market women in farming, fashion design, tailoring, frozen food, pastry and baking, cosmetics, jewellery designs and making, skincare, eateries and restaurants, etc. whether living in the communities or cities”.
She reiterated “the Yanga Account is conceived and designed for the financial literacy and empowerment of Nigerian women. It is about making sure that our women who make up 55% of the financially excluded Nigerians have access to basic and life-changing financial services”.
Also speaking during a market tour in Uyo, the Bank’s new brand ambassador, King of Boys star, Sola Sobowale invited all Nigerian women who operate businesses in the South-South and South-East to embrace the incredible opportunities offered by the Yanga account to grow their businesses.
She said: “This is the first time that a Bank will specifically design a product to cater to women and I am excited about the inherent benefits of this account and the endless possibilities that it brings to my fellow women. I invite all my fellow women in South-South and South-East Nigeria to sign up for the Yanga Account and watch their levels change.”
On his part, Group Head, Retail, SME Banking and E-Business, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Funwa Akinmade who spoke at the launch in Gombe said: “Female-led MSMEs in Northern Nigeria continue to play pivotal roles in the contribution of the MSMEs to the economy of Nigeria and that has informed this special activation of Yanga account in Gombe today.
“The Yanga account is a well-packaged banking product that combines several services that most small businesses owned by women will need to become profitable. We are optimistic that women in Gombe and all others across Northeast Nigeria will embrace the Yanga Account and leverage its full benefits to grow their businesses.”
With the launch of the Yanga account, Unity Bank said it underscores its retail strategy which continually aligns with the vision of the Central Bank of Nigerian and the financial services ecosystem to provide needed support for Nigerian women by enhancing access to wealth-creating opportunities in the financial services sector.
Industry watchers believe the retail product has the potential to aggressively deepen financial inclusion, which recent research by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) has shown, “can benefit individuals, families, and businesses, supporting key outcomes such as GDP growth”.