Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a member of Standard Bank Group, has launched its Blue Blossom community, a gathering of women from diverse backgrounds who come together to support each other while leveraging various benefits offered by the financial institution to meet the unique needs of the Nigerian woman.
According to World Bank, women comprise 43.83% of the labour force, and 43% of businesses worldwide are owned by women. Despite increased financial services in Africa’s biggest economy in the last decade, 98% of women still lack access to formal credit markets, according to a recent report by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisor (RPA) ‘s Gender Centre of Excellence. Also, Women and girls have limited access to education and healthcare, lack economic autonomy, and are under-represented in decision-making at all levels.
Off the back of these realities, Stanbic IBTC 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, Remy Osuagwu, Executive Director, Business and Commercial Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, stated that women are the backbone of established societies and thus must be supported to contribute to growing communities in Nigeria. He said, “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.”
Remy described the Blue Blossom community as a multi-value platform that seeks to provide an enabling ecosystem for women as young as 18 and nurture them into their best versions.
Emi Agaba-Oloja, Executive Director, Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, in her statement, 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/wards, access to market and network via community and many more.
“The community is open to every woman, and you do 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, you may need to open an account”, Sadiya Ojo, Head, Consumer Clients, Stanbic IBTC Bank said, urging women to seize the opportunities the community presents to build themselves.
The Blue Blossom Community has translated women’s concerns and has presented a solution to enable them to unlock their potential to bloom and take their rightful places in the world.