Business heads, innovators and women’s advocates identified what financial institutions can do to provide women’s businesses with the access to capital, networks and business skills that are crucial to economic growth and jobs creation
CEO Roundtable, “Financial Inclusion and Responsible Finance, with Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO of Access Bank (Nigeria); Chris Sullivan, CEO Corporate Banking, Royal Bank of Scotland (UK); Gita Patel, Director, Trapezia (UK), Najib Choucair, Head of the Banking Department, Banque du Liban (Central Bank of Lebanon); and James Scriven, Director, Global Financial Markets, IFC.
Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO of Access Bank (Nigeria): Women play substantial roles in the informal economies of Africa. If you don’t empower your women, you won’t empower your countries.
Chris Sullivan, CEO Corporate Banking, Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): Women hold one of the and probably the biggest lever to global stability and economic growth. Any institution that can harness the possibilities of women in their customer base will experience massive success.
Gita Patel, Director, Trapezia (UK): Access to capital is the number one reason that is holding back the growth of women’s businesses. I created Trapezia, the first venture capital fund in Europe, to invest in women focused businesses to capture the market opportunity in this underserved sector. Lack of capital is not just limited to the developing world but is also a huge issue in the developed world. Addressing this issue will help get us out of the global recession. Intervention to make this happen is necessary. It needs visionaries. http://www.trapeziacapital.co.uk
Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women: Banking unbanked women owned businesses in particular through ICT solutions is key to investing in women and including the world’s talent pool. Mobile technology is key to financial inclusion. Developing financial service products for women entrepreneurs as demonstrated by the Access bank in Nigeria for example is good business and more than corporate social responsibility. Let’s work together to allow women, their families, communities and economies to prosper.
Najib Choucair, Head of the Banking Department, Banque du Liban (Central Bank of Lebanon: We are going to try to convince banks to finance gender lending by giving them every incentive to lend to and invest in this market.
James Scriven, Director, Global Financial Markets, IFC: “IFC is clear that banking on women makes good business sense, and we have now adopted specific targets to increase the amount of capital that goes to women owned SMEs through our investments”
Author: Lynthia Romney
2010 Innovation Award was presented to Women’s World Banking by members of the Governing Board and Summit host, IFC. Accepting the award is Janiece Greene. Members l to r: Zouera Youssoufou, Lars Thunell (EVP IFC), Greene, Theopista Sekitto, Larke Riemer (Board Chair), Rachel Kyte,(VP IFC), Teri Cavanagh (Executive Director), Joanna Fielding, Sabetha Mwambenja