Eco Bank Kenya has launched the Emerald Eco Bank Business Club, a service that creates direct linkages between their customers and businesses operations in 33 African markets.
The Eco Bank Kenya Executive Director, Head of Commercial Banking Kenya and East African Community, Humphrey Muturi said with over 12.8 million customers, the bank’s focus is to facilitate the interaction amongst emerging Kenyan SMEs and the large businesses across Africa to enable its members to benefit.
We want our members to get access to direct networking platforms, market information, as well as business advisory services, external trade facilitation and preferential banking services, said Muturi.
He said the Club will also enable SMEs tap into new opportunities and deepen intra-Africa trade, which currently stands at 14 percent accounting for 18 percent of African exports.
Speaking at the launch at a Nairobi hotel today, the Executive Director observed that most SMEs in Africa, Kenya included, faced capacity challenges in terms of technical knowledge on how businesses in the continent operate, as well as partnerships.
He said, Though SMEs are willing to expand into wider African markets, they lack adequate platforms to network and understand potential partners, and added that the trend has made most entrepreneurs’ to be cautious and unwilling to partner.
Speaking at the event, Eco Bank Group Executive, Commercial Banking, Laurence Do Rego said most SMEs are scared of losing their products or services to unscrupulous traders with no formal traceability or channels to authenticate the end recipient.
Rego said If they can get access a secure network, formal business channels and an understanding of trade rules and requirements in different markets, then they are more willing to expand into new markets, through business to business agreements.
The launch of the business club comes after the signing of a treaty of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement, which was signed last month, by 44 African countries and is expected to create a $6.7 trillion market by the year 2030.
Source: Kenya News Agency