Stanbic Bank Uganda has hosted its first Enterprise Banking conference at Hotel Africana in partnership with MTN, UBL and Crown Beverages.
The conference organized under the theme ‘Building a sustainable Uganda through Business’ was held to give small but growing enterprises a platform to exchange ideas, experiences and network on how to grow their businesses in a professional and more sustainable manner. Studies indicate that despite Uganda being one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world out of 100 enterprises that start business less than 10% live beyond their 3rdbirthday.
Delivering opening remarks at the conference Stanbic Bank Uganda Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire said. “Given their substantial contribution to GDP SME’s are key drivers of Uganda’s economic growth, however in order to harness their full potential there is need to support them by not only giving them access to affordable credit, it is equally important to provide them with innovative products, skills and training so as to promote sustainability.”
He added, as Stanbic Bank along with our partners in the Oil and Gas sector we recently made a giant stride in this direction by launching a business incubator project that will support Ugandan SME working in the Oil & Gas sector. An initial intake of 16 SME’s are being trained and given the management skills to grow and survive beyond the vulnerable initial stage of development and become long term sustainable businesses.”
Talking about some of the innovative products and services they have developed Steven Segujja, Stanbic Bank Head Enterprise Banking noted that, “As a bank we no longer believe our role is limited to providing financing but developing and offering innovative products and services that cater for the specific needs of the client. This is the reason why the bank is introducing a more versatile and responsive Enterprise banking solution which delivers banking at the doorsteps and fingertips of our client businesses.”
Stanbic’s Enterprise Banking previously known as SME banking has been significantly enhanced with features that go beyond just providing regular banking services now offering many more customer centric products such as Enterprise Direct, Enterprise Online, Point of Sale among others. “Our objective is to grow a truly digital bank capable of meeting the needs and ambitions of our clients who want to grow their companies beyond being just small enterprises.” Steven added.
Delivering the keynote address Dr. Samuel Sejjaaka, a renowned academic and former Stanbic Uganda board member welcomed the initiative which he said would add value to all the SME’s present. “Most Ugandan Businesses rarely get the opportunity to interact with and learn from their bankers in this way, this tells me Stanbic does not just see you as a customer it believes you are valuable partners. I encourage you to take the learning from the various sessions and apply them proactively in your businesses.”
Andrew Robertson who is the Head business banking Africa Regions Standard Bank spoke about the bank’s commitment to the continent which he said had been built on a rich 150 year heritage. “Africa is our home, we drive her growth.
He added that they have a deep understanding of doing business in Africa and our footprint enables us to create linkages necessary to grow African Businesses in a sustainable manner.” He thanked the SMEs for attending the conference promising it would become an annual event.