Stanbic Bank Zambia has underlined the important role that banks play in unlocking the immense capacity of women to make meaningful economic and social contributions through inclusive financial services.
Head of PR and Communications, Chanda Katongo shared this at the 2019 Financial Alliance for Women summit in Paris where she outlined the bank’s Anakazi Banking vision with fellow delegates.
“To run and grow a successful business requires financial acumen and discipline. One of our main focuses as Stanbic is to actively seek to empower our female customers with greater access to financial resources and knowledge management so they can grow and excel at whatever level,” said Ms Katongo, a panellist on the topic of ‘The Implementers: A Conversation with Women’s Market Managers’.
Stanbic was the first financial institution in Zambia to join the Alliance, and has long been championing financial inclusion for women. In 2017 it launched Anakazi Banking, targeted at and tailored for women entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2000, the Financial Alliance for Women – formerly the Global Banking Alliance for Women – is a global consortium of financial institutions dedicated to supporting banks as they capture the opportunity of the women’s market, with a membership representation from more than 135 countries.
Ms Katongo pointed to the fact that more women were taking up positions as leaders, employers, and influencers, and that the financial sector must be prepared to cater to this growing market. She noted that empowering women in this manner would create room for fresh ideas and innovations in various sectors.
“Anakazi Banking is a success largely because it has been about the bank growing together with its customers and being the financial support and ‘muscle’ their enterprises need. We believe in them, their visions for their businesses, and are willing to go the extra mile in providing support that goes beyond traditional banking services,” said Ms Katongo.
She highlighted how besides the Anakazi masterclasses providing the tools for success, the Anakazi also created a sense of community as entrepreneurs interacted with their colleagues who were just as excited about the next level of growth.