BancABC last week launched their anticipated SME product, adding to the growing number of specialized products catering to one the economy’s vital growth sectors.
According to the African Development Bank Report of 2013, in terms of contribution to GPD and employment creation, African SMMEs contribute 45% to employment and 33% to GDP. In Botswana, SMMEs are estimated to contribute in the range of 30 – 45% of GDP as per the SMME Task Force Report, published by the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) in 2007.
“We offer world-class financial products and services that include Corporate Banking, Treasury Services, Retail and SME Banking” said Head of Retail and SME Banking, Gavin Savala. Mr. Savala continued to state that “for any economy, the SME sector is an important economic driver, especially here at home, as Botswana is looking to diversify the economy and promote economic empowerment. As BancABC, we aim to provide SME’s with the financial tools to achieve these objectives”.
The value proposition BancABC has developed in support of SME’s is “We are your business partner”. This, according to Mr. Savala, translates into BancABC providing assistance to SME’s beyond financing. “We work individually with each SME as a unique entity to determine their financial needs and to work on a holistic solution for them to grow. This includes assistance with working capital and order financing, asset financing and capital goods including property finance, transactional banking needs and savings, as well as investment needs”.
Speaking at the SME Banking press launch held at ABC House, BancABC Managing Director, Jitto Kurian, said “as BancABC it is important for us to provide support to smaller SME’s because there has been a tendency in the market to focus on the upper tier of the SME sector”. He continued on to say that “in Botswana 35% of SME’s have between 5-30 employees & 45% of SME’s have less than 4 employees. This demonstrates that the majority of SME’s in Botswana are actually very small, and do not have access to advisory services and relationship management. This was one of our driving forces to make the proposition to be the SME’s ‘Business Partner’.”