Network News

Thursday 30th March 2023

This March, Alliance member institutions celebrated International Women’s Day by championing gender equity in many inspired and innovative ways.

They announced big funding commitments and offered preferential loan terms and card rewards for female customers:

BRAC Bank included month-long special offers on products within TARA, its women-centered brand: reduced interest rates on new loans, 8-percent interest on all savings products (the highest in the market), and increased rewards associated with spending using TARA cards. The bank also created a new sales team with dedicated female relationship managers to serve women SMEs.

NatWest Group announced the issuance of a €500 million bond to finance women-led businesses, making it the first European financial institution to create a social bond specifically designed to fund female entrepreneurs.

Westpac announced a $500 million AUD commitment to back women in business. The package includes unsecured loans between $10,000 and $50,000 AUD with terms of up to three years to help new businesses get started. These are businesses that have operated for less than 12 months and need to provide a sound business plan and budget projections to access funding, instead of two years of financials. For scale-ups, the package includes secured or unsecured loans from $10,000 to $1 million AUD with terms of up to three years to help existing businesses grow. These businesses will have operated for less than three years and will now only require one year of financials to access funding, rather than two.

They hosted networking and educational events:

Stanbic Kenya held three big networking events for women entrepreneurs: a virtual conference for women in emerging technologies; its Kenya Women in Transport, Logistics, and Supply Chain conference; and the 17th edition of its “Mumpreneurs” event focused on access to finance.

BAC Honduras launched its women’s mentoring program, which connects aspiring women entrepreneurs to successful business leaders for three-month learning engagements.

Bixie held an online series of investment-focused talks and partnered with London School of Economics to host an in-person event in Bangkok for female founders.

City Alo (of the City Bank) partnered with several large corporations to host financial awareness sessions for their female employees, 100 of whom gained the added opportunity to learn from women role models in their sectors.

They advocated for gender equity locally and globally:

CONAFIPS hosted an event for cooperatives, government representatives, multilaterals, and academics in Ecuador, focused on the role of women in the country’s economic development.

HSBC hosted the 2023 Trailblazer50 lunch in partnership with WeAretheCity, which celebrated 50 role models championing gender equity. Alliance CEO Inez Murray and Alliance Board Chair Ann Cairns both received awards for their work driving women’s economic empowerment.

Bixie founder Rosalia Gitau published an op-ed in Tech in Asia focused on closing the digital data divide.

And they celebrated women with inspiring marketing campaigns:

G&T Continental highlighted its new women-centered platform, GTCMujer, with an online campaign featuring inspirational stories about women in Guatemala and around the globe.

Bank of Palestine launched a marketing campaign designed to encourage women’s use of financial products, including offering random-draw prizes for women who use the bank’s online banking and mobile apps.

Banco BHD highlighted inspiring Dominican women throughout the month on its social channels, showing how they achieve great things every day.

Bank al Etihad created a video celebrating how Shorouq, its women-focused program, has supported individual women in Jordan to reach their goals.