Bank Unveils Financial, Investment Support Scheme for Women Entrepreneurs

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

An initiative aimed to provide comprehensive financial and investment support for women entrepreneurs has been introduced by Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria.

The double-packed proposition called Women Banking and Women Winning with Wealth (WWWW) will provide quality financial and non-financial support to boost productivity and increase economic diversification for businesswomen and businesses with women as majority shareholders.

“We have researched extensively, and the core focus is to ensure that we fill the gender gap. Our propositions, informed by several factors, include cost-saving on business accounts where clients get a zero per cent maintenance fee on any business account they open.

“We have affordable loans of up to N20m at discounted rates that are non-collateralized. We also have investment advisors who will hold one-on-one engagements with these business owners to help them grow their wealth,” the Acting Head of Business Banking at the lender, Ms Bisi Oke, said at the launch of the new offering at The Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.

As part of its key objectives, Standard Chartered Bank is intent on improving the lives of one billion people by unleashing the full potential of women in its core markets, with the focal point being the creation of financial stability and road paths for women to attain equitable access to financial support, especially for small businesses.

The bank is also committed to accelerating the provision of quality financial services to women across its markets, purposefully connecting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the international market and building partnerships to expand the reach and scale of financial services.

Also speaking at the event, the Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Ms Dayo Aderugbo, explained the goal of the scheme is to reduce gender inequality and empower women’s development through financial education, opportunity and stability.

She said the unique and well-researched offering will provide mentoring to the women to start and grow their own businesses, increase their net worth, expand their investment capacity, achieve financial stability, and more.

“For us as women, there has never been a more important time to express ourselves and strive for success in the areas that matter most, which include wellness, security, financial stability, freedom, and most importantly, to be the best version of ourselves.

“At Standard Chartered, we also recognize that we need to lean into this moment, to support and accelerate change, innovation and transformation that benefits every human being, especially women,” she said.

The bank’s Head of Affluent Banking, Ms Chima Ebor, in her presentation, acknowledged that it is difficult for women to succeed without financial empowerment.

“But what we are saying is that you don’t have to marry rich to succeed; you can have sound financial education in building your wealth. We are focusing on women because when you train a man, you train an individual, but when you train a woman, you train a nation,” she said.

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