Absa Supports Women Entrepreneurs With National Women in Business Series

Absa is celebrating successful businesswomen during the month of October. Hosted by Absa Business Banking, the Women in Business Series recognises the achievements of some of South Africa’s top women entrepreneurs at events across all nine provinces. Prominent businesswomen will address and facilitate each session including Margaret Hirsch (co-founder and Chief Operations Executive at Hirsch’s Homestores) and Dr. Vuyo Mahlati (current president of the International Women’s Forum South Africa).

Happy Ralinala, Head of Absa Business Banking, says: “Absa wants to be the Go-To bank for entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs in particular. We want to go beyond banking to support SMEs, the future of which is critical to driving economic growth. Millions of South Africans rely on small businesses for their livelihood, and this segment employs a substantial number of people.

“Absa is geared to support entrepreneurs in creating jobs: in 2013, the bank pledged R250 million towards the non-traditional funding of SMEs. Creating access to markets and offering financial and non-financial assistance to SME start-ups is all a part of this process.”

Absa has several platforms through which it offers support to start-ups, including seven Centres of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. Absa’s Procurement Portal is an innovative online platform geared to match corporates with suppliers. The portal currently services 24 000 registered SMEs and 3450 Corporate Buyers.

Mobile point-of-sale technology such as Absa’s Payment Pebble brings highly secure chip and pin technology to the mobile phone for card payments. This enables small businesses and entrepreneurs to do business anywhere and at any time, therefore providing access to day-to-day financial services in a cost-effective way.

In October, Absa will also host the National Build a Business Roadshow in partnership with the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC). These seminars will provide both networking opportunities and motivation to assist existing SMEs to get ahead in growing their businesses.

Ralinala concludes “Absa is putting SMEs in the spotlight during October. Our involvement in these initiatives is part of Absa’s ongoing efforts to create platforms for entrepreneurs to share their stories, build confidence and celebrate success.”