Promoting women’s economic empowerment is one of the main issues on Stanbic Bank’s agenda this week.
The Bank sponsored the Women In Business Association (WIBA) conference, held at the Maharaja Conference Centre in Gaborone last Saturday.
The conference brought together Botswana businesswomen for the purposes of networking, dissemination of information, and establishing business volunteer training and counselling for women-owned businesses in the country.
According to Stanbic Bank Managing Director, Leina Gabaraane, “Stanbic Bank has a longstanding commitment to our communities, including the business community in particular, as this is the case with female entrepreneurial development. Female-owned businesses are invaluable to our economy and our society as they make a significant contribution to the country’s GDP. As such, businesswomen need a space in which the entrepreneurial problems and issues unique to them can be addressed and tackled. Stanbic Bank vows to nurture forums such as this to ensure that female-owned enterprises do not lag behind.”
Keletso Setimela, Head SME at Stanbic Bank, presented on the topic “SME Funding ÔÇô Restricted Access, is it a Reality?” WIBA’s vow to act as a space for female entrepreneurs is in perfect harmony with Stanbic Bank’s efforts to encourage and aid Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
It is a cause intrinsic to the values of Stanbic Bank, as championed by Stanbic Head of SME Banking, Keletso Setimela.
SME constitute over 90 percent of businesses in Botswana and therefore their role in economic diversification and employment creation cannot be ignored. Stanbic Bank is therefore prepared to play a leading role in development of this sector, said Setimela.
Working with organisations around the country, including Botswana Confederation of Commerce and Industry (BOCCIM) and Women’s Affairs Department (WAD), WIBA strives towards forming a cohesive advocacy and a lobbying group of women in business.
They strive to empower businesswomen to make changes in laws, policies, and traditional attitudes that inhibit a progressive Women Entrepreneurship Environment.
Stanbic Bank’s sponsorship to WIBA made the staging of the conference possible, and it is a contribution towards the growth and the development of female entrepreneurship in Botswana.