Stanbic invests in SMEs

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Auxillia Kambasha

BY BUSINESS REPORTER
Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe gave over 150 young entrepreneurs financial literacy training through the Incubator Hub in the six months between inception in September 2019 to March 2020.

The Incubator Hub is also a way for Stanbic to support government efforts to prop the central bank’s financial inclusion agenda.

Stanbic head of enterprise banking, Auxillia Kambasha said the financial services institution had used a hybrid approach in attending to entrepreneurs’ needs via a mix of both financial solutions and skills training.

Due to lockdown and efforts to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, the Hub closed for physical programmes in March 2020 and reopened in March 2022.

“Before the incubator closed, we managed to accommodate over 100 entrepreneurs with the majority of them being entrepreneurs below the age of 30 who we offered co-working space. Over 100 entrepreneurs have gone through financial literacy programmes while a group of 15 entrepreneurs went through the trainings that were offered pro bono by Stanbic employees who are subject matter experts,” Kambasha said.

She said about 65 entrepreneurs attended webinars that were held during lockdowns.

Kambasha said these statistics were impressive given that the incubator hub operated for under five months before its shut down.

“The Stanbic incubator hub which is a co-workspace for entrepreneurs and a hub for innovation closed in March 2020 and we only managed to reopen this year in March. This affected the physical programmes that were scheduled for empowering entrepreneurs,” Kambasha said.

On the functions of enterprise banking at large, Kambasha said the portfolio sought to grow entrepreneurs and make a difference in their lives by helping them live their dreams.

Stanbic Bank has assisted the operations of home-to-business start-ups and SMEs, helping them do business the right way.

“There is vast potential for growth for SMEs if given the right financial solutions and our team has the requisite knowledge to foster partnerships to succeed as well as providing solutions to business that range from advisory services, funding, coaching and mentoring, traditional banking to beyond banking, adding value at every step,” Kambasha said.

Beneficiaries of the programme are drawn from all sectors of the economy.

Kambasha said the portfolio had grown steadily over the years coupled with general improvement in customer service delivery.

“The improved customer satisfaction is evidenced by an increase in positive feedback as well as high volumes of applications of new accounts reflecting market good standing from existing clientele giving referrals,” she said.

“Measures have been put in place to improve the turn-around time on query resolution as we provide solutions for clients and help them with funding options.”

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