Every month, the Financial Alliance for Women publishes a roundup of the latest updates from network partners and members. Take a look at what’s new below:
Mastercard is committed to building a world that works better for women and creates limitless possibilities for everyone. In this time of global crisis, Mastercard expanded its worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. As part of this effort, there will be a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.
At the 2015 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group, Mastercard committed to bring 500 million excluded individuals into the financial system. It achieved that goal through more than 350 innovative programs across 80 countries. For example, in Kenya, Mastercard partnered with Unilever to create Jaza Duka (fill up your store), a digital program for micro-merchants in Kenya with more than 18,000 duka owners already registered. The program provides a micro-credit eligibility recommendation to Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), another Alliance member, which can then assess a retailer’s credit worthiness and extend formal credit for stock purchases.
Reaching the one billion goal will require a broad range of efforts, including ongoing work on government disbursement solutions, wage digitization of private-sector workers, partnerships with mobile network operators, solutions for gig workers, scaling efforts with fintechs, digital platforms, wallets and apps, solutions addressing needs of the financially vulnerable, and the expansion of CityKey and Community Pass programs. Read more here.
Catch Mastercard in our “Business in Times of Crisis” Ask the Expert on May 28 at 9AM EDT (1PM GMT). Register here.
G&T research with female business leaders found that they highly value having a financial coach to guide them to make smarter financial decisions for the growth and sustainability of their businesses. Based on this finding and with the support of the HR department and Commercial Management team, the bank developed training for its sales reps mixing business content with soft skills such as emotional intelligence, people skills, developing empathy, and active listening to reinforce the sales strengths of the team.
The bank is also working, with support from the InterAmerican Development Bank and the Alliance, on integrating gender intelligence to salesforce training including the different ways in which male and female clients listen, communicate, solve problems and make purchasing decisions. The bank acknowledges that the Financial Alliance for Women’s mentorship program has provided excellent guidance on this. The revised training program, which the bank sees as the foundation for a successful women’s program, will be launched first week of June.
In an effort to support SMEs in navigating COVID-19 challenges, TEB launched the following services:
Zanaco is offering financial relief packages to customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re available to its personal, business banking and corporate customers who have existing loan facilities with the bank. Relief options include the extension of loan tenures, refinancing of loans and loan repayment holidays in line with the bank’s credit parameters and customer needs.
Zanaco is also providing support for the health and wellbeing of its staff through individual and group therapy sessions, as well as sharing daily communication on self help and personal care. Furthermore, staff are also being encouraged to have regular virtual team-building sessions to talk about non-work related issues as a way of maintaining momentum and encouraging the spirit of working together despite being isolated.
BRAC Bank Limited
FCMB’s SheVentures, in collaboration with IFC, hosted a webinar for women-owned SMEs on “Adjusting Your Business Plan During Crisis.” The session included practical steps to help them through the crisis such as:
More than 1,000 people attended the webinar.
From May 13–15, SheVentures held a three-day intensive entrepreneurship workshop for 40 women selected to enjoy a Zero-Interest Loan. The loan is a unique proposition for a limited number of female entrepreneurs operating a small-scale business and in need of quick working capital loan to meet urgent needs. The training focused on enhancing women’s knowledge and skills to better structure their business and ensure that the no-interest loan is put to good use and repaid accordingly.
Great Wall West China Bank
On March 7th, at the 2019 IWD commemoration conference organized by Deyang Women’s Federation, the bank won the title of “Deyang Female Excellent Organization” due to its outstanding contribution to female empowerment.
The first webinar, titled “Getting Back to Business,” focused on the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs during this lockdown period and how they may overcome the current situation caused by the pandemic. The webinar can be viewed here.
The other webinar, titled “Embracing the Disruption: Education during COVID-19” featured faculty from renowned universities and schools. The webinar focused on how the education sector has been affected by COVID-19. The webinar can be viewed here.
An upcoming webinar is called, “SME’s and Start-Ups: Digital Transformation and the Way Forward.”
Further efforts include collaborating with hospitals where card members can get online medical consultations from renowned consultants. Also, the bank’s management team has decided to offer telemedicine service on COVID-19 or any other symptoms related to COVID-19 for all bank’s employees free of charge. In addition, City Alo has been active on social media to offer information on proper safety measures and hygiene practices.
For post COVID-19, the bank has begun a special three-month month EMI deferment for conventional retail and SME loans for customers who are facing difficulty. Besides that, as per the Central Bank Circular, customers will not be classified if they’re unable to pay EMI up to June 2020.
Stanbic Bank Zambia
In an effort to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on businesses (especially those owned by women) the bank is:
CDC chaired a special meeting of the Gender Finance Collaborative, a group of 15 DFIs and MDBs that work collaboratively to advance gender-smart investing. The all-member meeting was held to discuss collective solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included a specialist advisor’s presentation on the gendered impacts of COVID-19, as well as a member-led discussion on collaborative solutions that would support investees in rapid response and longer-term recovery.
We thank all our members and partners for sharing their news with us so that we can all learn and get inspired. We invite you all to keep sending us updates about your response to COVID-19 and other timely topics and to attend our weekly “Ask The Expert: Business in Times of Crisis” webinars. Click here to register and see full details of upcoming and past sessions.