WINDHOEK – The annual Economist Businesswomen Conference and other initiatives like it are important because they encourage the growth of female entrepreneurs, which in turn benefits the socio-economic development of any country.
Owing to this, Standard Bank once again joined hands with the Economist Businesswomen Club by sponsoring their annual Northern Business Conference. The 19th annual conference will be hosted on August 9 in Ongwediva.
“Women at the helm of entrepreneurship in all sectors are crucial as they contribute to economic growth, aid in creating a diverse innovative workforce and according to some experts greater female economic independence promotes geopolitical stability and world peace,” Standard Bank’s head of marketing, communications and CSI, Magreth Mengo, said this week when she handed over the bank’s sponsorship.
She explained that entrepreneurially-inclined women also provide a way out of poverty for themselves and their families, which results in greater personal autonomy. The annual conference aims to create an opportunity where budding entrepreneurs and successful business people can share skills and expertise to ensure the personal development and management skills of rural women. Standard Bank sponsored them with N$85,000.
The Economist Businesswomen Club strives to facilitate empowering initiatives to lead women towards self-realisation and is the single biggest organisation for women in Namibia endorsed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare.
“At Standard Bank we know and understand the value of women in entrepreneurship and as such we are proud to be associated with the Economist Businesswomen Conference, which will ultimately lead to the enhancement of women in our communities,” Mengo stressed.
Apart from Standard Bank, other sponsors include Telecom Namibia, Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII), Coca Cola and Sure Ritz Corporate Travel.
“We have been a supporter of this event for the past few years and able to witness how it has transformed the lives of many women. It is a noble initiative that is near and dear to us as a forward-thinking and innovative financial institution that has immensely benefitted from the women in our workforce,” she said.
Mengo reiterated that the bank will continue to support the drive to accelerate SME development and promote entrepreneurship in the country because the bank values the contribution that this sector makes to the economy.
Businesswoman of the Year 1999 and patron of the conference, Sara Elago, thanked all the sponsors for their support, stressing that their support is invaluable as SMEs are the lifeline of any economy.
Elago also encouraged young women to become entrepreneurs, stating that with innovative ideas they could jump-start the SME landscape.
She thanked the sponsors, including Standard Bank, stating that their support is not only appreciated but is crucial to ensure that budding entrepreneurs are skilled, equipped and inspired to lift themselves and their communities out of poverty into a better life.
“I want to thank Standard Bank because they have always supported us… Many women believe in you because you have done a lot for them. Thank you,” she concluded.