Absa, hosted its fourth networking event in the Women in Business Series (WIBS) in Port Elizabeth, on Friday, August 14.
Hosted by Business Banking from Absa, the WIBS aims to recognise and celebrate the achievements of some of South Africa’s top women entrepreneurs at events across all nine provinces. The provincial roadshows are a run-up to the national WIBS Summit which will take place in Johannesburg in October.
Happy Ralinala, Head of Business Banking at Absa, says: “Absa wants to be the ‘Go-To’ bank for entrepreneurs. We want to go beyond banking to support SMEs, the future of which is critical to driving economic growth. Millions of South Africans rely on small businesses for their livelihood, and this segment employs a substantial number of people.
“Absa is geared to support entrepreneurs in creating jobs. The bank has pledged R250 million towards the non-traditional funding of SMEs. Creating access to markets and offering financial and non-financial assistance to SME start-ups is all a part of this process.”
Absa has several platforms through which it offers support to start-ups, including eight Centres of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. Absa’s Procurement Portal is an innovative online platform geared to match corporates with suppliers. The portal currently services 32 000 registered SMEs and 4800 Corporate buyers.
Ralinala concludes that: “WIBS is a way through which Absa is putting SMEs in the spotlight. Our involvement in these initiatives is part of our ongoing efforts to create platforms for entrepreneurs to share their stories, build confidence and celebrate success, particularly among women.”