Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, has launched a highly innovative savings scheme in a move meant to show how the financial institution is committed to supporting women in business.
The product, Dendere/ Isidleke, is a savings account targeting women and is designed to enable them to save as well as borrow money for growing their businesses.
Dendere /Isidleke does not only demonstrates Stanbic Bank’s commitment to putting its shoulder to the wheel in the government’s efforts to empower women, but is also in compliance with the financial regulator, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s thrust for financial inclusion for women, among other stakeholders.
Stanbic Bank’s Head of Personal and Business Banking, Patson Mahatchi, said the institution is making strides towards empowering women as well as closing the gender gap by providing fit for purpose banking solutions designed for women in business.
“Women who open these accounts can also go through an incubation period where they receive consultancy and training from our experienced business bankers and they also get networking opportunities. After the incubation period, the bank then puts in place measures that assist the women by financing their business through loan facilities,” said Mahatchi.
He said women aged 18 and above and/or groups of women are eligible for the product and that women who form groups to save money by way of monthly contributions are set to benefit from Dendere/Isidleke. The banking product was inspired by the saving culture women have exhibited over the years through the informal “Stokvel” system.
“This product will provide a safe vehicle for women to preserve their savings. This is an account that will allow customers to save and borrow from the bank. Dendere/ Isidleke has been specifically developed to provide a safe place for savings without monthly charges,” he said.
“By introducing Dendere/ Isidleke Stanbic Bank recognizes that Zimbabwe is a signatory to a variety of international and regional instruments for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, thus has seen it fit to play a pivotal role in achieving these goals. One of the most significant of these is the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3 which focuses on promoting gender equality and empowering women,” Mahatchi said.
Dendere/Isidleke comes into the market as the government has reiterated its commitment to empowering women and promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction in the country.
Last year, the government launched the Zimbabwe Women’s Micro-finance Bank (ZWMB) – the first bank in Southern Africa dedicated solely to transform and economically empower women.