Stanbic partners Lionesses for SME growth

Stanbic Bank has partnered Lionesses of Africa, a US-based women empowerment organisation, to accelerate the growth of local businesses and Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

Under the theme: “Powering a New Era of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Ghana,” the Stanbic-Lionesses of Africa partnership initiative aims at providing women entrepreneurs a platform to network and share best practices to grow their businesses across Africa, while enhancing the women entrepreneurial eco-system.

According to the Lionesses of Africa Executive Sponsor at Stanbic Bank, Doreen Iliasu, the partnership forms part of the bank’s Corporate Social Investment initiative that focuses specifically on women and youth as drivers for societal change with maximum impact.

“The Lionesses of Africa Lean-In programme provides a great platform for networking and empowering women entrepreneurs across Africa and Stanbic Bank is proud to be associated with it because we also identify with the fact that women entrepreneurs are equally important in the Ghanaian economy. Women form a very important part of the economy, and we are willing and happy to be associated with all interventions to open up,” Mrs. Iliasu stated.

The Stanbic-Lionesses of Africa partnership feeds into the Stanbic Business Incubator Programme designed to assist entrepreneurs and business start-ups, especially in the Fintech, agro-processing, manufacturing and healthcare sectors.

The incubator programme, which was officially outdoored at the Stanbic-Lionesses of Africa conference, offers business growth interventions such as financial literacy, coaching and mentoring, and advisory services. It also offers a co-working space, to provide entrepreneurs with the requisite tools to enhance and spur the growth of their businesses. The Stanbic Business Incubator Programme will also empower SME owners who lack access to market and funding.

For her part, Head of Enterprise Banking at Stanbic Bank, Pearl Nkrumah, said the move was part of the bank’s vision of ensuring that businesses are equipped with the right tools to trade in and outside Ghana.

“Stanbic Bank realises that SMEs are the growth areas in terms of new businesses in Ghana. Sometimes the business market does not sit in a particular geographical region – manufacturers may have products that could be more saleable in other regions,” Ms Nkrumah said.

She added that “One of the pillars on which the Incubator programme is hinged, is the privileged group which we have identified as women and the youth. This is also a deliberate attempt to give women and children equal opportunities to contribute to Ghana’s economy.”

 

Story: Business Desk

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