Theme 2: Financial services


Overview Co-Creative Dialogues

Theme: Financial services

7.  Access to finance for female entrepreneurs in Europe

Hosts: Chantal Korteweg, FMO, Saskia Vossenberg, KIT and specialist Heather Melville, NatWest

FMO and KIT have set-up a partnership to improve serving client banks in emerging markets to provide finance and other services to female entrepreneurs. Is this an emerging market problem/topic? No! RBS will present their program on how, in partnership with Women in Business, NatWest and RBS are providing female entrepreneurs with expertise, finance and opportunities for skills development and networking in the UK. Why did RBS start this? What do they want to achieve? And what is their advice to commercial banks and other players in the Netherlands and Europe who have not yet embarked on this business opportunity? This round table will also include a dialogue on the importance of gender data in order to develop and maintain inclusive financial systems in which women entrepreneurs can thrive. Data will help stakeholders to understand differences in financial behaviour between men and women and evidence the business case.

8. Realizing potential through TARA

Host: Mehruba Reza, BRAC Bank

BRAC Bank is a leading private commercial bank in Bangladesh. With a commitment to achieve sustainable growth through responsible business practices and with a focus on serving small and medium enterprises. BRAC Bank values the undeniable role of women in society and continues to explore avenues that empower women. TARA aims to boost women’s self-esteem and enhance their decision-making power through better access knowledge regarding banking and with banking solutions that meet the lifestyle requirements of women in different segments. The idea is to inspire women through sharing of experiences and networking in the new professional and business arenas across the country. Please find an interview with host Mehruba Reza on TARA here.

9. Access to finance for female entrepreneurs in Africa

Hosts: Beatrice Hamza Bassey, Atlas Mara, Guido Boysen, GroFin, and Bas Rekvelt, FMO

Africa is hugely diverse. It is also the world’s second largest and second most populous continent: one into which the USA, China, India, Brazil and the UK taken together, could be comfortably accommodated. Also when looking at the potential to finance female owned SMEs, the African continent offers a huge untapped market. Atlas Mara and Grofin will share what they are doing to address this potential. Learn from two different perspectives on what these institutions are doing in terms of providing access to financial and non-financial services to female entrepreneurs in Africa. What are the partnerships that have been set up to make this happen? And what are their challenges?

Atlas Mara Limited is a rapidly growing sub-Saharan African financial services group with banking operations in seven sub-Saharan African countries, including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Rwanda and Nigeria. Their strategy is to create sub-Saharan Africa’s premier financial institution and to become the partner of choice for customers, employees and investors. GroFin is a pioneering development financier specialising in financing and supporting small and growing businesses (SGBs) across Africa and the Middle East. They combine medium-term loans and specialised business support to grow emerging market enterprises. By generating employment, strengthening value chains and building markets, their investments bring about inclusive growth and improved living conditions in low and middle-income countries.