NMB Bank Plc has reiterated its commitment to continue empowering women entrepreneurs across the country as part of its commitment to ensure that women make financial strides.
The bank between July 2021 to June 2022 issued 37,501 loans to Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) valued at 752.7bn/- with the biggest share targeting women SMEs according to the NMB Bank Chief Shared Services Nenyuata Mejooli.
Speaking during the NMB Day Celebration, an event organized by the bank at the Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) pavilion at the ongoing Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) to commemorate women entrepreneurs, Mejooli said her bank has come up with various products tailor-made products to support the bank’s women empowerment strategy adding that since 2000, the bank has been issuing small scale loans from 500,000/- up to 75m/-.
She said it’s on such a background that her bank came up with the first of the kind Environmental Social Governance (ESG) bond dubbed NMB Jasiri Bond that raised 74.2bn/- targeting women owned businesses.
NMB received a whopping 74.2bn/- from the first ever East African Bond targeting gender empowerment, which is triple the amount it intended to raise. NMB had initially requested to raise an amount of up to 25bn/ through its fourth tranche of its 200bn/- Medium Term Note (MTN) Program.
“The raised funds will be used to support businesses owned by women or businesses whose value-chain benefits the majority of women. I call upon women entrepreneurs to grab the opportunities when we start issuing the loans,” she said.
She added that the bank has already offered 95.1bn/-in the last three years as part of its efforts to support the growth of women owned businesses across the country.
“As a bank, we understand that there is still a big number of people that are unbanked across the country that is why we came up with our digital payments campaign dubbed “Teleza Kidigitali that seeks to enhance financial inclusion through products like ‘NMB Mshiko Fasta’, NMB Pesa Wakala and Lipa Mkononi. We will continue investing in research to come up with more tailor-made financial products to reduce the unbanked gap,” she said.
The TWCC Board Chairperson Mercy Silla during the event thanked the bank for its continued support to empowering women entrepreneurs adding that her chamber will continue to support women right at grassroots level.
She noted that 30 percent of the procurement budget has been set aside for women as part of efforts to enhance women’s participation in the procurement process and urged women to fully take part in the tender process to and utilize procurement opportunities in various projects.
“There are opportunities created for women in the tender and procurement processes but unfortunately women have not been able to take part fully and grab such opportunities. Women need to be aggressive and utilize all these opportunities created. As a chamber, we will continue sensitizing women on how to grab such opportunities right from grassroots level,” she said.
The NMB Day celebrations were held under the theme “Empowering Women in Business” brought together women from Dar es Salaam, Simiyu, Tanga, Mara, Njombe, Mwanza involved in food processing,textile,leather,cosmetcis,health and handcrafts sectors.