Access Bank, Nigeria’s largest bank by customer base with a global footprint beyond Africa, has announced a strategic partnership with Kleos Advisory Africa, a leading business consulting and advisory firm, to further enhance its groundbreaking “YouThrive” initiative. This collaboration aims to deliver comprehensive capacity building programs to youth entrepreneurs across the country, empowering them to fully leverage the N50bn loan facility designed to support 700,000 MSMEs
Chizoma Okoli, Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank,during a press briefing at the bank’s head office in Lagos, emphasized the critical role of capacity building in the success of the YouThrive initiative. “Our goal is to not only provide financial support but also to ensure that these young entrepreneurs have the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in today’s competitive market,” Chizoma stated.

The YouThrive initiative, launched with the vision to empower 4 million youth MSMEs over four years, will see beneficiaries undergo a rigorous skill-development curriculum centered around Technology, Creatives, Business Management, and Skill Acquisition. This partnership with Kleos Advisory Africa, a leading consultancy firm specializing in business advisory and training, is a significant step towards achieving this vision.
Chioma Ogwo, Head of Emerging Businesses at Access Bank, highlighted the added value this partnership brings at the recent Inaugural Job Creation and MSME Quarterly Communications Forum in Abuja. “By collaborating with Kleos Advisory Africa, we are ensuring that our beneficiaries receive top-tier knowledge and exposure to global business practices. This partnership will enhance the capacity-building aspect of YouThrive, enabling MSMEs to exchange ideas and learn from their counterparts internationally,” Ogwo explained.
MSMEs to exchange ideas and learn from their counterparts internationally,” Ogwo explained.

Dr. Glory Enyinnaya, CEO of Kleos Advisory Africa, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, noting, “We are excited to work with Access Bank on this transformative initiative. Kleos distinguishes itself through its data-driven approach, which is underpinned by rigorous research. This research, featured in the Harvard Business Review, serves as the foundation for our innovative strategies and solutions, ensuring that entrepreneurs receive evidence-based guidance tailored to their specific needs and challenges. Together, we will foster a new generation of business leaders in Nigeria.”
John-Paul Malherbe, Senior Project Manager at Kleos Advisory Africa, added, “Our collaboration with Access Bank on the YouThrive initiative represents a significant milestone in our efforts to support MSMEs. We are committed to delivering high-impact capacity building programs that not only provide theoretical knowledge but also practical skills essential for business growth. This partnership allows us to leverage our extensive experience and research to benefit young entrepreneurs, equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in a dynamic economic landscape.”
Temitola Adekunle Johnson, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and MSMEs, praised the partnership, stating that it will significantly enhance the impact of the YouThrive initiative. “Access Bank’s commitment to learning and financial support, combined with Kleos Advisory Africa’s expertise, will help address the challenges faced by MSMEs in accessing affordable loans and navigating the business environment,” Johnson said.
The YouThrive entrepreneurship program commenced in April 2024, with sessions held across various regions to ensure widespread participation. Entrepreneurs aged 21 to 40 are encouraged to apply for the YouThrive empowerment program, which promises not only financial support but also the critical knowledge and skills needed to succeed.

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Boluwatife Olu-Kings Ayobami

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