Stanchart, PwC Partner To Assist SMEs In Africa
5/28/2012 10:50:01 AM -
Standard Chartered and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have formed a partnership to provide training workshops for small and medium-sized (SME) enterprises in Africa.
The first workshop kicked off this week in Ghana, and is to be followed by Nigeria and Zambia in the next two months.
The sessions will provide Standard Chartered’s SME customers with basic financial management and accounting training and expose the bank’s processes, products and services to the groups.
Through the workshops, Standard Chartered aims to increase its customers’ capacity to access more capital and services to grow their business, and offer them the opportunity to network with other business owners.
Standard Chartered is stepping up its efforts in the SME sector to help provide a more favourable business environment for smaller businesses.
The bank’s 2010 social and economic impact report on Ghana highlighted the need for advisory services for SMEs, including advice on markets, corporate governance, accounting and regulation.
The Global Head of SME Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, Som Subroto, said: “SMEs are the backbone of economies worldwide and a key driver of growth and job creation.”
“They rely heavily on bank finance to fund their growth but often lack the robust track records and financials they need to borrow at affordable rates”, he added and noted that; “They also often underestimate how close partnerships with banks can help them to meet their needs”.
He also said Standard Chartered is committed to serving SMEs in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and by partnering with accounting experts from PwC, the bank hopes to address some of the distinctive needs of SMEs while forging deeper relationships with its customers.
The Director of SME Services, PwC Ghana, David Brocke, said: “The SME sector in Ghana is an important economic building block and we will not achieve Vision 2020 without some of today’s SMEs becoming household names over the next decade.
As part of our global partnership with Standard Chartered we are delighted to invest in helping equip SMEs in Ghana to make this transformation. We see education and professional training as a fundamental part of our contribution to the community.”
Standard Chartered Bank has an integrated SME business unit with 1,300 relationship managers who focus on providing solutions and support to the bank’s 650,000 SME clients in 30 countries. Its main areas of support include working capital, business expansion, business protection and yield enhancement.
The bank’s international network means it has particular strengths in cross-border and trade capabilities to help SMEs grow beyond boundaries, explore new markets, and overcome challenges such as enterprise recognition, access to credit, and seamless opening of international accounts.