BancABC Zimbabwe today announced the launch of their Business Banking offering focused on supporting the SME sector countrywide in their entrepreneurial journey. The new offering “iGnite Account” was unveiled at the bank’s Heritage branch at an event attended by officials from the World Bank and various SME representative bodies. The service is expected to complement the bank’s traditionally strong Corporate Banking services where the banking giant has traditionally been active in supporting the country’s productive sector.
As part of the iGinite service offering, the bank also launched its SME incubation centre, the Ignition Hub. The Hub will provide a working space for SMEs to network, receive mentorship and training for various business-related courses. The Hub is located on the 7th floor of the bank’s Heritage House branch in Samora Machel. It will be open from 09:00 – 17:00 from Monday to Friday & provides a co-working space for any SME with a registered business. The Hub will also host free weekly business mentorship sessions and seminars for the bank’s account holders. The SME sector is the backbone of the Zimbabwean economy, employing the majority of the population.
Speaking at the launch event held at the Ignition Hub in Harare, the MD of BancABC Zimbabwe Dr Lance Mambondiani said “SMEs contribute half of the world’s economic output & employ two-thirds of the global workforce. As a bank we see this sector as a critical contributor to the growth of the Zimbabwe economy. The launch of this service signifies our commitment to partner small business owners across the country become a part of their growth story”
He added. “We invite all SMEs to visit the Hub & find out how The #ATeam can ignite your business to the next level through a customised solution designed to accelerate the growth of our SME partners”.
In addition to the Ignition Hub, the iGnite SME account offers a number of services to support small businesses through various growth stages. The service will allow SMEs to access unsecured loans to address the main challenge for small businesses unable to access bank loans due to lack of collateral. The BancABC unsecured SME loans will be offered through a partnership with the Export Credit Guarantee Company (ECGC) which is underwriting the service. Getting access to finance is a key requirement for the majority of SMEs in Zimbabwe to scale their businesses.
The iGnite service also assists small businesses with a marketplace to sell their commodities and connect with suppliers and contractors. The Marketplace will give SMEs a platform to cross-sell to each other and expand their market reach through various platforms online and at the Hub. As part of this invitation, the bank announced an exciting competition via the Ignite Marketplace to look for an SME to run the coffee shop at the Ignition Hub. The successful business owner will be given free rental space to run their business & sell to customers who come to the hub. For more information visit: www.facebook.com/groups/iGniteMarketplace
The Bank’s Head of Retail Channels and Business Banking, Mrs Hope Marere said the SME iGnite service will offer customers an opportunity to pitch for funding to various investors and partners to expand their business through investor Pitch events that will be organised at the Hub every month.
For more information, SMEs are invited to visit the Ignition Hub on the 7th floor of Heritage House, 67 Samora Machel Avenue in Harare or visit www.bancabc.co.zw/igniteaccount for more information on how to sign up.