Wednesday 13th May 2015
PRESS RELEASE: Having taken a “Consultant Bank” approach in supporting the development of SMEs through its SME Banking business line for a decade and that of entrepreneurs through Turkey’s most comprehensive Startup Business Banking program that was inaugurated two years ago,
Türk Ekonomi Bankasi (TEB) is now seeking to strengthen the presence of women in the world of business via its new Women’s Banking program. Through Women’s Banking, Women’s Banking provides women-owned SMEs and women entrepreneurs not just with financing but also with information and advice support in every area in which they may need it.
Authoring yet another first in the sector in order to support women-owned SMEs and women entrepreneurs and to strengthen their presence in business, Türk Ekonomi Bankasi (TEB) has set up a separate department and begun providing Women’s Banking services. Standing by women in business not just through the financing that it provides but also through its “Consultant Bank” approach, TEB supports women-owned SMEs and women entrepreneurs with a range of specially-designed products and services in such areas as finance, markets, training, and networking in order to help them overcome the obstacles they may encounter in business.
TEB is bringing its provision of non-financial services in SME Banking together with the innovative “Consultant Bank” approach that has been designated as a model by the International Finance Corporation into this new business line as well. Having launched Turkey’s most comprehensive Women’s Banking program, TEB puts together packages of products and services that address the particular needs and expectations of women-owned SMEs and women entrepreneurs while also collaborating with leading international organizations seeking to empower women in economic activity.
Leblebici: “Our goal is to boost women-owned SMEs and women entrepreneurs competitive strength.”
“Until recently, the banking industry addressed only SMEs’ financial needs but in recent years there’s been a significant change in this point of view” says TEB General Manager Ümit Leblebici. “Banks today work together with SMEs in many different ways that create added value while also generating powerful synergies. As TEB we’ve played an important role in bringing about that change, which is to say in demolishing the classical bank-SME relationship.” Mr Leblebici then added “Since 2005, when we first introduced SME banking at TEB, we’ve been helping SMEs in their efforts to pursue a more balanced course in their investments by providing them with the knowledge, training, and advice support they need to grow their businesses, strengthen themselves competitively, and use their financial resources correctly.”
Noting that TEB regards entrepreneurs who energize economic growth through their innovative and visionary ideas as the SMEs of the future, Mr Leblebici said “In line with this, two years ago we inaugurated Turkey’s most comprehensive Startup Business Banking program, bringing to that business line the same “Consultant Bank” approach which were taking in SME Banking and which had been designated as a model by the International Finance Corporation. We inaugurated TEB Startup Business Banking in order both to support entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas and to contribute to the growth and development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The successes that we have achieved have far exceeded our expectations. Now we’re taking the same approach into the Women’s Banking business line, where I believe we can also contribute to the competitive strength of women-owned SMEs and women entrepreneurs.”
Boz: “We’re the “Consultant Bank” for women in business too.”
Drawing attention to the steadily increasing presence of women in the world’s workforce, TEB Senior Assistant General Manager for SME Banking and Deputy General Manager Turgut Boz had this to say: “We see that women make up about 40% of the workforce worldwide while some 28% of business enterprises have women bosses. Looking at the situation in our own country we see that only 14% of microbusinesses and 18% of SMEs are run by women. When you take all these undertakings into account, the average works out to about 15.6%. We think that should be higher and as TEB, we want to be at the center of the women-owned business financing ecosystem and to add value to women’s economic efforts through the Women’s Banking program that we’ve introduced.”
Noting that another objective of TEB’s launching Turkey’s most comprehensive Women’s Banking program is to generate added value for the national economy by supporting women’s efforts to participate in it, Mr Boz added “We see that nowadays women’s involvement in economic activity is increasing thanks to public-side support and private-side efforts. But we also see that when they set out on that path they very often encounter problems such as not knowing how to turn an inspiration into a viable business and not having the right connections to transform their high added-value, innovative ideas into economic benefit. It is at this very point that we come to the support of women-owned SMEs and women entrepreneurs with our “Consultant Bank” approach with the aims both of standing by them individually and of strengthening the ecosystem of which they are a part.”
“By opening the way for women in Turkey to be entrepreneurs through TEB Women’s Banking, we’re also going to be increasing their numbers while simultaneously supporting sustainable business models” said Mr Boz. “As TEB we’re going to be giving them all the support they need to ensure that their businesses are viable so that they may become tomorrow’s bosses and SMEs. We’ll also be working to help women-owned SMEs compete in international markets and maintain their presence through sustainable growth. Through TEB Women’s Banking we’re going to help women be producers and not just consumers of economic benefit.”
Financing packages for women
Describing some of the details of the products and services that TEB has designed for its Women’s Banking business line Mr Boz said “Besides unsecured loans, we’re also offering Women’s Banking financing packages specially put together to make it easier for women entrepreneurs to gain access to the financing they need for their businesses. Along with vendor financing we also provide training and mentoring to help women deal with marketing issues and overcome obstacles to their accessing domestic and international markets. For the same reason we’re also collaborating with leading international organizations seeking to empower women in economic activity. We provide advice in the areas of financial know-how and strategic growth; through our specially-designed training programs and our TEB SME Consultants program we make it easier for them to get the information and training they need. We support their efforts to gain access to and take advantage of networking resources. We’ve also joined forces with a number of national and international undertakings that will allow us to offer them other exclusive opportunities. All of our bank’s units are working together to make the Women’s Banking program effective. For example we’re going to be adding special courses for women to the curriculum of the TEB Startup House. We’ve given branch and portfolio managers in every region training on such issues as women’s financial behavior and communicating with women customers with the aim of helping them better understand what their women customers say in order to correctly identify their needs and expectations and come up with solutions accordingly. All the financial and non-financial services that we’re offering in keeping with our “Consultant Bank” approach are intended to boost the competitive strength of the women-owned SMEs and women entrepreneurs in our country and thus to help them make their own contribution to the national economy’s growth and development.