Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a member of Standard Bank Group has launched its Blue Blossom community for Nigerian women, providing support and financial benefits to meet the unique needs of the Nigerian woman.
The Group said according to World Bank, women comprised 43.83 per cent of the labour force, and 43 per cent of businesses worldwide were owned by women.
Despite increased financial services in Africa’s biggest economy in the last decade, 98 per cent of women still lacked access to formal credit markets.
It said according to a recent report by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisor Gender Centre of Excellence, women and girls had limited access to education and healthcare, lack economic autonomy, and were under-represented in decision-making at all levels.
In a statement, the bank said the Blue Blossom Community was launched to enable women access financial and non-financial services, from banking services to non-banking services, including investments, retirement services, children accounts, free access to capacity-building sessions and special events.
Speaking on the community, the Executive Director, Business and Commercial Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Remy Osuagwu, stated that women were the backbone of established societies and must be supported to contribute to growing communities in Nigeria.
“When women are exposed to and groomed in the art and science of business, coupled with receiving equitable financial services with affordable credit facilities, their potential for growth, leadership, and success is boundless,” he said.
Osuagwu described the Blue Blossom community as a multi-value platform that sought to provide an enabling ecosystem for women as young as 18, and nurture them into their best versions.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, Emi Agaba-Oloja, said, “Women must maximise their gifts of organisation and nurture in business, career, and family.
“We have factored these into the Blue Blossom community to foster a sense of togetherness and serve as a reservoir of resources among Nigerian women from all walks of life.”
Emphasising and highlighting the benefits of belonging to the community, Emi said the benefits of being a member of the community included free business clinic, career or business development sessions, mentorship through masterclasses, access to CHESS account for their children and wards, access to market and network via community and many more.
Emi noted that the community was opened to every woman, and they did not necessarily need to own an account with Stanbic IBTC to be a member of the Blue Blossom community.
However, to have unhindered access to financial services, they may need to open an account.
Also, the Head, Consumer Clients, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Sadiya Ojo, urged women to seize the opportunities the community presented to build themselves.