Amidst efforts to empower youth and women to start and grow their businesses and create jobs, Absa has just launched a unique banking solution, specifically designed with these business-owners in mind.
Respectively called Absa Emerging Entrepreneur and Absa Business She Thrives, the solution offers a monthly fee waiver for six months on a new Business Evolve account, free access to the integrated business management and accounting tool called Cashflow Manager and access to funding of up to R5 million on an unsecured basis, supported by Absa’s Enterprise Development and Alternate Lending Solutions.
In addition, eligible businesses will be able to access their first credit facility without paying any initiation fee and qualify for up to 50% off their bond registration costs.
The proposition also includes up to 35% discount on short-term insurance premiums, with a low excess structure and office and roadside assistance at no additional cost. An Employee Care Plan with life, funeral and occupational disability cover is also available.
Realising the importance of skills development and capacity building and networking, the proposition includes a complimentary 12-month access to carefully curated content from the online learning platform, Udemy and masterclasses and networking offered via the social enterprise, Lionesses of Africa and the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).
“SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, driving employment, fostering innovation and bringing communities together,” said Ronnie Mbatsane, Managing Executive for SME Business at Absa Relationship Banking.
“Yet, while young people constitute the largest population segment in South Africa, they endure the highest levels of unemployment. Although young people are more likely to prefer self-employment, they often face various challenges including inadequate education and training, a lack of experience, fewer financial resources and access to funding, as well as limited networks and market barriers.”
“Moreover, there is global recognition that the economic empowerment of women can create fertile ground to change the trajectory for families and communities.”
“By launching this solution, we want to play our part in supporting youth and women entrepreneurs through an offering the removes obstacles and authentically serves these individuals,” Mbatsane adds.
Over the past few years, Absa Relationship Banking has done significant work to gain a holistic understanding of the unique needs of small businesses and to design and tailor its solutions with this in mind.
Besides the various elements embedded in the proposition, customers will gain access to expert advice and guidance from Absa’s Relationship Bankers on starting and growing a business as well as funding.
“We believe that small businesses, particularly those owned by young people and women, would also benefit from greater access to business-focused training material and courses.”
“In addition to the courses available on-demand through Udemy, Absa’s Enterprise Development programme provides exposure to markets and resources otherwise not readily available to these businesses,” says Sanah Gumede, Head of Strategy and Customer Value Management at Absa Relationship Banking.
“Our long-term partnerships with the NSBC and the social enterprise for women-owned businesses, Lionesses of Africa, allow us the ability to further extend opportunities to our youth and women-owned SME customers for access to learning and networking opportunities.”
“We want to do everything in our power to grow youth and women-owned enterprises by providing them with access to opportunities that helps them thrive both in their businesses and enable the advancement of their communities,” concludes Mbatsane.