Network News

Thursday 27th May 2021

In the past month, Alliance members worldwide expanded and deepened their financial and non-financial offers to support WSMEs in scaling their businesses, navigating the challenges of COVID-19 and boosting women’s financial independence.


Bank al Etihad is supporting female entrepreneurs with an export readiness program for women-led businesses and a USD$30 million FMO-backed loan portfolio for businesses affected by COVID-19.
Bank al Etihad partnered with Endeavor Jordan to launch a two-month export readiness program, “Unlocking Markets with Bank al Etihad.” The program’s purpose is to enable international expansion for women-led businesses by providing support services such as matchmaking with local startups, help navigating local regulations, and info sessions on understanding the business environment in target markets. You can learn more about the program here.

The bank also signed a USD$30 million loan portfolio guarantee facility with FMO for COVID-19 support for SMEs and female entrepreneurs. FMO will provide a NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee, a risk-sharing facility program aimed at supporting young, female, migrant, and COVID-19-affected entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa and countries neighboring Europe). The underlying loans will be used for income-generating activities. You can find out more here.

Centenary Bank Uganda launched its Cente SupaWoman club, a holistic financial and nonfinancial program for female customers aimed at boosting women’s financial independence.
The Cente SupaWoman club offers a suite of dedicated financial products: deposit bank products (individual, joint and group SupaWoman bank accounts), a SupaWoman loan, and a specialized credit offering for women entrepreneurs in the SupaWoman club. It also provides women with access to health insurance, legal aid and exposure to markets. These offerings are accompanied by nonfinancial services such as mentorship, knowledge and network-based skills sharing, and financial literacy trainings, the latter of which is run in partnership with the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction. These trainings are supported with financial assistance received from aBi Finance under a project dubbed “UpScaling the SupaWoman Program,” which is aimed at enhancing financial inclusion for women.

The Australian government announced an unprecedented $3.4 billion in spending for women, and Westpac is educating customers and employees about how to make it count.
Westpac hosted a virtual event on Ruby, it’s women-centered platform, focused on the Australian Federal Budget’s landmark package of around $3.4 billion dedicated funding for new measures to improve outcomes for women’s safety, economic security, health and wellbeing. The event was also aimed at bankers within the organization as a training and development opportunity for learning how to leverage the initiative to support female customers.