Micro, small and medium enterprises are key drivers of economic growth and job creation across Africa. But many struggle to move from start-up businesses to sustainable firms with the potential to expand and employ others.
In 2018, we worked with more than 12 000 SMEs across Africa and invested more than R30 million to grow and develop start-up small enterprises, providing them with help to access finance, tap into new markets and value chains, and access business development support.
We’ve established dedicated SME Incubators in Ghana and Mozambique, both of which include a strong focus on supporting women entrepreneurs. In Nigeria, we’ve partnered with the Kaduna State government to establish an Entrepreneurship Centre, hosting workshops that benefited over 8 000 business owners in 2018. In South Africa, our 2018 My Fearless Next campaign saw us helping to facilitate the leap from part-time to full-time entrepreneurship. We also invested in more than 150 technology start-ups across Africa in 2018, through our Moonshots Programme, our partnership with Founders Factory, and our Innovation Challenge in Nigeria.
We work with SMEs to develop financial solutions tailored for their needs, including solutions to deal with cash flow and working capital challenges. In South Africa, we’ve partnered with provincial government to provide working capital to SMEs that have secured government contracts. In Ghana, we’ve designed invoice discounting loans against SME invoices, and Enterprise Smart Loans which serve the formal and informal sector. We’ve enabled Uber drivers in Kenya to buy their own vehicles and work for themselves, while Stanbic Tanzania has extended our digital offering for SMEs, with our Biashara Direct digital solution. In Zambia, our Enterprise Online system and Instant Money app enable customers to make payments and withdrawals securely and more cost-effectively.
Our core business supports the broadening of economic opportunity and job creation by helping businesses to expand and become more productive. Examples in 2018 included loan finance to support the development of Botswana’s local diamond beneficiation companies, improved access to finance for Nigeria’s small-scale farmers, and black economic empowerment deals in South Africa in the transport and mining sectors.
Increase the access of small enterprises to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
Contribute to job creation and enterprise development in countries of operation
Deepen financial inclusion across Africa with appropriate digital offerings
Standard Bank incubators provide small businesses with working space, capacity building and business development support services, access to mentoring and coaching, access to market opportunities in the Standard Bank value chain and the value chains of our business and commercial clients, and access to finance, either directly from the bank, or with the bank acting as a facilitator.
We have incubators in Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa, and an entrepreneurship centre in Nigeria, together supporting approximately 12 000 entrepreneurs.
Partnered with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to support the Women Entrepreneurship One Roundtable Programme, which aims to improve business management, benefiting 200 women business owners
The financial services industry is evolving in response to changing client behaviour, increased expectations, channel proliferation and the adoption of new technologies. Ongoing digitisation improves ease of access and convenience for customers, while boosting process efficiency, mitigating risk, reducing costs and increasing competition. Staying true to our African journey, Standard Bank is working to support and develop Africa’s fintech entrepreneurs, recognising their potential as future partners in our business.
A major challenge for small enterprises is managing the consistency and predictability of cash flow. We’re working with our clients to address this challenge, to help businesses get through crunch times without compromising their ability to deliver to their clients. Solutions include credit issues against government contracts, or invoices payable, as well as working capital loans.
The default risk associated with lending to SMEs makes it difficult and expensive for SMEs to access credit from commercial banks.
SME owners need quick, convenient and real-time solutions to make and receive payments and manage their accounts.
Partnership with Uber, CMC motors and Suzuki to enable Kenya’s Uber drivers to buy their own vehicles.
A range of digital solutions tailored for SMEs, ncluding Biashara Direct in Tanzania and Enterprise Online in Zambia.
More SMEs able to access affordable finance, grow their businesses and create jobs.
Hassle-free banking through digital channels, which saves time and money for SME owners.
The growth of an inclusive economy depends significantly on the growth of the SME sector. We are developing digital solutions for SMEs that make their business easier to operate and enable easier access to the financial services they need to grow. We have developed various products to assist SMEs.
Businesses, large and small, require access to finance to expand their operations and improve productivity. Accessing finance enables them to access supply chains and buy equipment, access new markets, create jobs and boost profitability. We invested in various opportunities across Africa from manufacturing in Botswana to agriculture in Nigeria and Zimbabwe, and the taxi and mining sectors in South Africa.