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African Bank brings SMMEs into the fold with its ESD programme

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Press Release | May 31, 2022

Today African Bank proudly launched its new Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Capacity Building Programme – a 12-month course, designed in partnership with the 22 On Sloane campus.

Edna Montse, African Bank’s Chief of Staff and Head: Transformation and Sustainability, says the Bank’s audacious Group strategy, Excelerate25, has positioned it to leverage off its rich heritage, diversify and grow the business. “Part of that journey includes the development and investment in small- and medium-black-owned businesses. It is our aspiration to contribute towards building an inclusive and thriving economy by investing in areas that have a meaningful impact on our communities and stakeholders. The ESD programme delivers on this objective,” she says.


Montse says SMMEs, including some who already work with African Bank, have been selected to be part of the programme. “The curriculum focusses on ensuring business readiness, helping SMMEs to launch, scale and commercialise their businesses. It will also assist with access to markets and funding,” she explains. The programme includes a combination of tailored group sessions as well as one-on-one sessions.


Twenty supplier development and enterprise development businesses were shortlisted and will start the 12-month programme in June 2022 and end in May 2023. The SMMEs are from varying sectors including ICT, agriculture, architecture, insurance, recruitment, marketing, corporate gifting, interior design and more.


As part of the programme, African Bank will provide participants with guidance and support to start and grow their businesses in both local and global markets. The two

major components of the programme are: Business Readiness Level (BRL) and Technical Capability Level (TCL). “We have partnered with 22 On Sloane to design and deliver the curriculum and give participants access to its vast networks of global start-up ecosystem enablers, corporates, and investors. The programme offers tailored capability and capacity development aimed at driving market and investor readiness in SMMEs. It also facilitates access to markets and access to capital for the SMMEs.


An additional grant allocation of R1 million will be equally awarded to the top five performers (R200k each) at the end of the programme for use in their business. We trust that participants will make the best use of this opportunity and work together with us to get their businesses and/or products ready for market,” says Montse.


Montse says transformation and sustainability is central to African Bank’s purpose, identity, strategy and commercial agenda and calls for a bank that meaningfully engages with its stakeholders and the broader environment. “As we engage with these SMMEs we are excited to walk this journey with them and looking forward to seeing them grow and excel,” she concludes.


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