Barclays Africa Group: Best SME Partner Bank Africa 2017

Africa is on the move and the pushing is being done by SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises. Small businesses account for more than a third of the continent’s economic output and are its main source of jobs. Africa is home to millions of budding entrepreneurs eager to tap into local and even global markets. Their ambition is often as great as their business savvy. The bottleneck that often stops Africa’s up-and-coming businesses from seizing opportunity is access to financing – both for working capital and expansion drives – and business knowledge.

Barclays Africa Group, present in twelve countries and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, was one of the first to identify – and meet – the needs of Africa’s SMEs. The bank reached out to entrepreneurs with a fully-featured business portal that helps users gain access to skills development and mentorship programmes, amongst others.

The highly-valued portal enables businesspeople to find public and private procurement contracts and prepare their bids. The bank encourages its larger corporate clients to list their needs and requirements on the portal and thus connect with SMEs.

The bank also actively supports fin-tech innovation through RISE, a community of entrepreneurial movers and shakers that brings together start-ups and established businesses to form a fertile pool that breeds innovation.

The judging panel is particularly impressed with the bank’s continued efforts to help SMEs source opportunities. By doing so, Barclays Africa Group helps an already dynamic sector grow and prosper. The judges are aware that they have recognised the bank’s SME-friendly policies twice before and appreciate the consistency displayed by the group. The judges’ have no hesitation in recommending Barclays Africa Group for a third win and therefore offer the bank their 2017 Best SME Partner Bank Africa Award.

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