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Supporting clients 2 October 2020

Knowledge is power

Standard Bank Group enhanced its client-relief initiatives with information-sharing programmes in markets such as Zambia and Nigeria

In times of crisis, access to information and mentorship programmes becomes even more valuable to entrepreneurs and small-business owners – both to ensure their resilience and to enable them to pursue new opportunities. 

As such, Standard Bank Group enhanced its client-relief initiatives with information-sharing programmes in markets such as Zambia and Nigeria. 

Stanbic Zambia, for example, has been leveraging its Anakazi Banking platform – which seeks to empower women entrepreneurs by giving them access to capital, education and business mentorship opportunities – to further assist clients through these difficult times. 

The platform provides women with access to training, mentorship and networking events to help them build knowledge in business management and access to markets. 

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, Stanbic Zambia has been hosting weekly online webinars to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing clients.  

Stanbic Zambia recently hosted Rose Sibisi, CEO of CBC Television Zambia and an Anakazi Banking customer, who stressed the need for professional women to sharpen their skills and make the most of new opportunities that present themselves during the crisis. 

She commended Stanbic for the financial support it has provided to the business community, especially women-owned businesses, and for its eagerness to assist in a transparent manner throughout the crisis.  

Ms Sibisi’s StylewithRoseS business, a communications and events consultancy firm, was offered a three-month loan repayment holiday to help weather the storm and assist the company’s other stakeholders at the same time. 

“The Anakazi Banking platform has given me more financial knowledge as well as invaluable connections with other women in the business community,” she said of the programme. “As women in business, the learning and knowledge-sharing opportunities help us become more independent and unlock financial services, such as savings and credit.”  

Ms Sibisi said the crisis presented budding entrepreneurs with fresh opportunities, particularly in the digital space, and urged them to apply for mentorships and other learning opportunities. “There’s no better time than this for women to be in leadership positions,” she said on the webinar. 

Meanwhile, Stanbic IBTC Bank in Nigeria has held a series of webinars focused on personal finances and wealth, as part of the bank’s Financial Fitness Academy. 

These online sessions, which focus on goal setting, planning, and the market environment amid COVID-19, have been well received by clients. 

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with attendees saying they have learnt useful lessons about the importance of investment diversification, investment opportunities in recessionary periods, retirement planning, insurance, and the drafting of wills. 

“I valued the opportunity to get reliable and reassuring financial information during this pandemic without compromising social distancing,” one attendee said. 

“The financial fitness session was revealing and full of actionable steps that I immediately worked on to improve my financial health,” another said. “Now, for an ex-banker like me to say this, that’s huge.”  

These sessions have also shown that many clients in Nigeria are realising the value of insurance amid the COVID-19 crisis. There is also a recognition that “the best time to invest is now”, as one client put it, and that having a properly drafted will can ensure a smooth transfer of wealth from one generation to the next.