Stanbic Bank Botswana partners with UNDP to pioneer SME development

In their continued effort to meet the needs of SME banking clients, Stanbic Bank Botswana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for its business Supplier Development Programme (SDP) which assists Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) towards effective supply to their Buyers, who are also enrolled on the programme. The flagship ten-month long  programme is designed to offer support to entrepreneurs, in a bid to help them become more efficient, increase their access to markets and be more profitable, hence sustainable.

Said Stanbic Bank Botswana Head Enterprise Banking, Mr. Onkabetse Morapedi, “This partnership is indeed a demonstration of our commitment to go beyond banking; by adding value and providing exposure, information and expertise to our clients to foster an environment that facilitates their growth and success. We are proud to have collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme to empower SMEs by providing them with the necessary tools and financial solutions to become more efficient and effective, ultimately leading to employment creation. As a Bank we remain committed to playing our part in the National employability agenda, and our partnership with the UNDP is yet another example of how we plan to make a meaningful difference in this sector.”

Through this partnership, the bank will offer supporting financial solutions, including lending, to SMEs on the SDP, who require funding. In addition, it will also offer reduced pricing exclusively to these organisations participating in the programme. As an organisation that is at the centre of the economy, Stanbic Bank Botswana strives to provide people with the ability to pay, to borrow, to invest, and insure their assets. This comes as part of the bank’s effort to fulfil its purpose of a financial institution, which is to help people become active economic agents and contribute to economic growth.

Continued Morapedi, “Our experience shows there is a great deal of opportunity in many sectors and markets if businesses are to be encouraged to look beyond the short term. We understand the needs of business banking clients, and we have therefore created solutions tailored to their specific business needs. We understand the lifecycles which SMEs experience and we are determined to help them through their growth journeys. We have the best team with the relevant experience to help our clients save time and money. We do this with our purpose in mind, which is Botswana is our home, and we drive her growth.”

The UNDP business SDP’s Project Manager, Ms. Boitumelo Mbaakanyi, said, “As part of our ongoing mentorship programme, and guidance delivered by engaged SDP consultants, it has been diagnosed that cashflow acquisition, management and optimal utilisation has been a common and major challenge that SMEs enrolled in this programme, as suppliers, are encountering. Stanbic Bank is expected to fill this gap, in partnership with the SDP Consultants, who will ensure that any business credit facility applied for is: necessary, adequate, affordable and relevant for the type of business operations.”

During the MoU signing ceremony, the Resident Representative of UNDP, Ms. Jacinta Barrins, hailed the UNDP/Stanbic as timely considering that on the 27th June 2019, a date declared as SMEs day by the United Nations, there were celebrations of the great small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country under the theme “Big Money for Small Businesses”. The theme recognises that if businesses don’t have effective and ready channels to access finance, their chances of viability and sustainability are hindered. She highlighted the importance of partnerships, in line with UNDP’s Sustainable Development Progamme (SDG)’s goal # 17.

Stanbic Bank believes that the small businesses of today have potential to become the big businesses of tomorrow. With this in mind, the Bank is committed to helping SMEs in Botswana’s ecosystem thrive into a truly sustainable and successful future through this partnership.