Tuesday 23rd February 2016
Lebanese financial institution BLC Bank hosted the GBA’s largest ever Study Tour earlier this month, with nearly 30 attendees from 11 countries – including the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Uganda, Laos, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Egypt and Kosovo.
BLC Bank has built its reputation as a Women’s Market pioneer in Lebanon via its We Initiative, which achieved extraordinary results within the first two years of its launch and continues to prosper. The Study Tour featured a host of experts from the bank responsible for the initiative, who shared their thoughts and experiences on what it takes to build and succeed with a Women’s Market program. Presenters included representatives from the different teams across the organization that are involved in the day-to-day execution of the Women’s Market program as well as in the supporting functions required to fully embed the program within the bank.
“BLC Bank has, for a number of years, worked to foster and grow women’s role in business. Access to banking institutions is key, but so are training and building a policy framework that encourage and facilitate female entrepreneurs’ success,” said Tania Moussallem, Assistant General Manager at BLC Bank and Chair of GBA’s Governing Board. “We are pleased to [share] our ideas and strategies with GBA members to contribute in improving the way banks help women drive the economy,” she continued.
The Study Tour kicked off with keynote addresses from Alliance CEO Inez Murray, GBA Chair and BLC Bank Assistant General Manager Tania Moussallem, BLC Bank Vice-Chairman and General Manager Nadim Kassar, and BLC Bank Chairman and General Manager Maurice Sehnaoui. Participants then met the team responsible for developing and executing the We Initiative strategy, discussing opportunities, challenges and lessons learned, and heard the inspirational stories of past Brilliant Lebanese Award-winning women entrepreneurs.
“This study tour [represented] a learning opportunity to help international banks develop effective women’s programs in their own markets or take their early-stage programs to the next level,” said BLC Bank’s Chairman and General Manager Maurice Sehnaoui.
“Women are currently the biggest growth market in the world. According to the Harvard Business Review, their earnings are expected to reach $18 trillion globally in the next few years, making them a major market opportunity for many corporations,” GBA Chief Executive Inez Murray noted. “At GBA, we are helping banks reach women through understanding the market opportunity, including the segments within the female market and the study tours organized by BLC Bank are a key contribution to our mission.”
To learn more about BLC Bank’s success with the Women’s Market and how they developed and executed their We Initiative strategy, take a look at the GBA’s BLC Bank Case Study.