By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- The IFC – a member of the World Bank Group has pronounced approximately $15 million loan to Stanbic Bank Zambia, a wholly owned Subsidiary of Standard Bank Group. This investment will aid Stanbic Bank expand its lending to small and medium enterprises; with at least 25% of the loan ear marked for women owned business in Zambia.
From World Bank Group recent Study, entrepreneurs from Zambia have difficulty in accessing the finance they need, to grow due to informality in the market, high collateral requirements and poor bank lending tools. With particularity to this woman owned enterprises face a financing gap of about $ 474 million equivalent to 16% of the total SME finance gap funding shortfall (The Global Findex Database 2017)
“The funding from IFC is timely and fits with our SME strategy, which is aimed at leveraging our corporate banking ecosystem to identify new SME’s for funding.”
Leina Gabaraane, Chief Executive Officer – Stanbic Bank Zambia.
“By 2022, we plan to quadruple the number of women owned SME borrowers from 50 to about 200, representing an outstanding portfolio of 80 million Zambian Kwacha, Leina noted.
Along with the financing, IFC will help Stanbic Bank enhance its environmental and social risk management system. This includes formulating detailed procedures for identifying, assessing and managing risks and their impacts during the credit approval and monitoring process.
“IFC’s partnership with Stanbic Bank Zambia will expand access to finance for the country’s SME’s, enabling them to grow and create jobs” Kevin Njiraini – Regional Director for IFC – Southern Africa said.
IFC estimates that SMEs that receive financing through Stanbic Bank’s new line could create close to 3,000 local jobs over the next five years.
Stanbic Bank Zambia is a leader in the Zambian banking sector and has a market shape of about 15% by total assets and 21% by loans. It will leverage its recently launched banking proposition for women, called Anakazi Banking to attract women owned enterprises.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent