Stanbic Bank says it is committed to supporting the fledging Zambian SME sector to which the bank has so far disbursed K1.5 billion in loans and advances in a quest to grow and improve the segment.
Bank Chief Executive Officer, Charles Mudiwa, says despite being identified as the lifeline of the economy, SME’s in Zambia still face a number of challenges in their quest to expand.
“As a Bank, we have a tailor made SME package to ensure we address these challenges,” he said.
Inspired by the economic diversification and job creation thrust espoused in the 7th National Development Plan, Stanbic is upbeat about giving unwavering support to promote in excess of 10, 000 Small and Medium Enterprises on its books.
In a practical move to bolster this stance, Stanbic launched the banking proposition that aims to deliver tools women need to succeed in business, including easier access to convenient banking, access to capital as well as business knowledge.
It was Stanbic’s bold move to boost Zambian women’s involvement in business and entrepreneurship since the bank became the first Zambian financial institution to join the Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA) in February 2017.
So far, more than 20 Zambian businesswomen are beneficiaries of the world’s top entrepreneurship training programme under the auspices of Stanbic Bank’s new women banking proposition, Anakazi Banking.
Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Charles Mudiwa said the participants, who run small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from a wide range of sectors in Zambia, graduated with skills to take their businesses forward.
“At the end of the training, we believe participants were sufficiently empowered to take their businesses to another level by being brave enough to feel that they too can participate in the economy.”
Mr Mudiwa add: “We as Stanbic believe that Zambia is our home and we should drive her growth but we cannot drive Zambia’s growth unless the women are driving the growth. We need to drive the women and the women need to drive the economy.”
He said women entrepreneurs were the leaders of the community of women in Zambia who needed to assert their role in the economic discourse of the country.
In a related development, Stanbic bank recently committed K50, 000 towards the rebuilding of the Lusaka City Market, which was recently gutted by fire affecting a number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The bank also offered free banking services for a period of one year to clients who lost their property and merchandise in the fire, as they recover and try to turn around their business fortunes.
Stanbic Chief Executive Charles Mudiwa said the bank regarded micro, small and medium entrepreneurs as the engine of the country’s economic growth, stressing the need to support them for meaningful contribution to the nation.