Stanbic Bank scoops a top gong for supporting SMEs

Source: Stanbic Bank scoops a top gong for supporting SMEs –Newsday Zimbabwe

Stanbic Bank was recognised for coming up with innovative financial products and strategies for SMEs in 2023.

LEADING financial services institution, Stanbic Bank has been named national winner for supporting micro, small to medium enterprises in Zimbabwe by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC).

Stanbic Bank was recognised for coming up with innovative financial products and strategies for SMEs in 2023.

The Standard Bank Group subsidiary was rewarded for implementing carefully structured measures that promote the formalisation of SMEs and financial inclusion, as well as for having far reaching and sustainable achievements and milestones that support SMEs development.

ZNCC acknowledged Stanbic Bank’s focus on serving the needs of SMEs for the last 14 years. The bank’s effort in supporting the SMEs has seen the loan book growing year on year with solutions that are tailored for SMEs.

The chamber also recognised the flexibility of Stanbic Bank’s lending requirements for SMEs, taking note of the fact that the institution has been intentional in giving focus to SME to the extent of establishing a division that is dedicated to serving SMEs in 2010.

Among the innovative financial products which Stanbic Bank introduced last year was the Tobacco Booth, launched in various areas in addition to the bank network. The booths are in Harare (TSF), Marondera, Karoi, Mvurwi, Bindura, Rusape and Chinhoyi and carter for Tobacco farmers so that they easily receive their tobacco sale proceeds.

ZNCC applauded Stanbic Bank for setting up an incubator/innovation hub in Harare which was designed with the goal of empowering, nurturing entrepreneurship and innovativeness in SMEs.

The incubator hub has programmes that exist to capacitate and upskill existing entrepreneurs and start-ups, through the model which is based on pillars that include ideation, incubation and acceleration.

The chamber noted that Stanbic Bank hosted a financial fitness academy in Midlands, Harare and Mutare that offers financial literacy training to its SME clients.

Stanbic Bank also established a Virtual Business Centre dedicated to avail support and assistance through telephony and emails, freeing up time for the clients to focus on their operations rather than frequently visiting the bank.

The Chamber acknowledged that Stanbic Bank held quarterly Webinars for its SME clients to educate them on various areas that include regulatory changes, exchange control regulations matters and financial wellness

Among the achievements or milestones that highlight the institution’s success in supporting SMEs development in the previous year was the Rise Above the Noise SME programme. It sought to promote the growth of entrepreneurs banking with Stanbic Bank by offering seed prizes of US$5 000, US$2 500 and US$1 000 to the winner, 1st runner up and 2nd runner up respectively.

Stanbic Bank was commended for its innovative Trade solution whereby it facilitates trade in China through the Africa China Trade Solution. This facility unlocks trade relations with the Chinese market as it enables SMEs to have reliable, authenticated, and efficient suppliers in Zimbabwe through an agent Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co Ltd, also known as Guamao.

The bank also partnered with ZimTrade in assisting SMEs who are into manufacturing and farming to secure export markets for their products and produce to export through workshops. The partnership helps them to secure new markets.

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